‘Shaken and scared’ — the minutes after Applebee’s shooting
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP — The shooting of Devin Smith as he sat at the bar at Applebee's happened quickly, according to calls to 911.
In audio files released to NJ.com, a customer told the operator Smith was on the floor of the restaurant on Route 1 and that the gunman had already left.
The first operator tried to find out the condition of Smith and asked the caller if he could lay Smith on his back. The caller was hesitant but agreed. The operator calmly gave instructions for him to apply CPR to Smith.
A second caller with a different operator said Smith was laying face down and was not moving. The caller said the shooting "happened so fast but we do have cameras here." The operator tried to get a description of the suspect, the weapon used, and the vehicle used by the gunman.
"I need you to talk to me. Can anyone tell me anything," she asked.
"Nah, everyone's so shaken up and scared it happened so fast," the caller said.
The operator asked the caller to check on Smith's breathing.
"He's not moving. He's not nothing. There's blood all over the place," the man said as the first police officers walked in.
Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri said Noel Powell III, 27, was taken into custody in Trenton nearly a week later but did not disclose a motive for the shooting.
Law enforcement sources told NJ.com that a longtime disagreement between Smith and Powell led to the shooting.
Briana Anderson, the mother of a daughter named Lily with Smith, continues to mourn his death on her Facebook page.
"My heart just shattered into a million pieces ... I keep all of Livy’s birthday cards. And to know her birthday is a week away and you won’t be here to give her another card or even a birthday gift, no birthday hugs and kisses, I won’t even see those bright smiles on both of their faces when they see each other," Anderson wrote.