On Saturday, October 9, 2021, at approximately 4:13pm, officers from the Woolwich Township Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call at a Cottonwood Road residence regarding the report of a male sustaining a gunshot wound. Upon arrival, Woolwich officers located the victim, Dennis McKenzie, 43, of that same address, deceased from apparent gunshot wounds.
Cooperative investigative efforts undertaken by the Woolwich PD, under the leadership of Chief Richard Jaramillo, and the GCPO, quickly led to the arrest at the scene of Christian Smith, 23, of Philadelphia, step-son of the victim, for the following offenses: murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and possession of a weapon without a permit to carry. Subsequent to processing, Smith was lodged in the Salem County Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing. An autopsy conducted by the Gloucester County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the victim’s cause of death as gunshot wounds of the head and back, and manner of death as homicide.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of their rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State Law.