The names of Jersey City men charged with murdering teen have been released

Officials have released the names of two Jersey City men charged with murdering a 17-year-old girl and wounding three others

JERSEY CITY — The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has released the names of two men charged with murdering a 17-year-old Jersey City resident gunned down in front of her friends in a Brinkerhoff Street building last month.

Jersey City residents Alterik Ellis, 25, and Travis Defoe, 28, have been charged with the Oct. 26, murder of Jade Saunders, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced today.

Ellis and Defoe were arrested Monday in on Lexington Avenue and are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, three counts of aggravated assault, weapons offense and theft, Suarez said.

Officers responding the Brinkerhoff Street building at about 11:35 p.m. on the day of the shooting found Saunders with a gunshot wound to her upper body and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her death was ruled a homicide after and autopsy conducted at the state Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, Suarez said.

A 26-year-old Jersey City man was found at the scene suffering from a gunshot his leg. During the investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, it was determined that two 19-year-olds also suffered gunshot wounds during the incident, but did not remain at the scene, Suarez said. 

One 19-year-old suffered a graze wound to his torso and the other suffered a wound to his arm, Suarez said.

After being processed, Ellis and DeFoe were remanded to the Hudson County jail in Kearny where they await hearings.

Saunders was enrolled at Lincoln High School but was studying at the Renaissance Institute. Residents of the Brinkerhoff Street building told The Jersey Journal that Saunders was hanging out with friends in a hallway when someone came in and started shooting.

Family members said Saunders was in her senior year and after graduation she wanted to be a hair stylist. They said she was in the wrong place at the wrong time the night she was killed. Her funeral was yesterday. 

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