New Jersey

Arrest Made in Murder Inside NJ Applebee's Restaurant

Noel Powell III, 27, was arrested and charged in the murder of 23-year-old Devin Smith.

Police arrested a man accused of shooting and killing a man inside a New Jersey Applebee's restaurant.

Noel Powell III, 27, of Fountayne Lane, Lawrence Township, was arrested in Trenton, New Jersey around 2:30 p.m. Sunday by members of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force. He is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Mercer County Prosecutor's Office
Noel Powell III

Police say Powell shot and killed Devin Smith, 23, of Lawrence Township, inside the Applebee's Grill + Bar restaurant along Brunswick Pike (U.S. Route 1) near the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrenceville, New Jersey around 12:25 a.m. Tuesday. Powell approached Smith, who was seated and alone at the bar and shot him once in the head, according to investigators. Powell fled in a dark-colored SUV and Smith was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Family Photos
Photos of Devin Smith

While Powell is in custody, police have not yet revealed a possible motive in the murder or whether or not he knew the victim.

Tuesday night, Smith's loved ones gathered at the Applebee's to honor him, leaving behind balloons and candles.

"I just lost the father of my child," said Briana Anderson, the mother of Smith's 3-year-old daughter. "I'm trying to be strong for my daughter so she knows she's not alone through this whole process."

Those who knew Smith described him as a man who was the life of the party with countless friends and no known enemies.

"They were just always so happy and lively," said Lisa Trinh, one of Smith's friends. "I don't know who could've done it to him."

Kavon Marshall, another friend of Smith's, arrived at the Applebee's late Tuesday night and delivered balloons, releasing some in the air. He considered Smith his little brother.

"It just don't feel real," Marshall said. "I do miss him. I don't even know what kind of monster would do this."

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