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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchives19-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN SECOND MURDER THIS WEEK

19-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN SECOND MURDER THIS WEEK

St. Croix suffered its second murder in approximately 36 hours Thursday morning after an argument between two 19-year-old men over a marijuana plant left one of them dead.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. Thursday, police received a call of a shooting at Peppertree Terrace. At the scene, officers found Vincent Lawrence, 19, dead from a .38 caliber gunshot wound to the head. A medical examiner pronounced Lawrence dead at the scene, said St. Croix Deputy Police Chief Novelle Francis.
Charged with first-degree murder is 19-year-old Renaldo Santos.
Francis said that Lawrence, a landscaper at Peppertree Terrace, a gated housing community in Estate Diamond Ruby, apparently uprooted a marijuana plant growing in Santos’ yard sometime Wednesday. Santos confronted Lawrence on Thursday morning and the two argued.
"Renaldo came back later with a handgun, walked up to Vincent and pointed the gun at his face and discharged one shot," Francis said.
Thursday’s murder is the second this week on St. Croix. On Tuesday afternoon, Mannix Phillips, 33, of Mon Bijou was shot and killed when he intervened in a dispute between two brothers at the Aureo Diaz Heights housing community.
Within minutes of the shooting, police took Nathaniel Hazell into custody on charges of first-degree murder and illegal weapons possession charges. Hazell has been remanded to custody in lieu of $200,000 bail following an advice-of-rights hearing in Territorial Court.
In both murders an unlicensed firearm was used, Francis said, adding that that is the case in about 90 percent of violent incidents. In an effort to remove such weapons from the streets, police have held amnesty days when individuals can turn in weapons without any questions, Francis said. The V.I. Police Department has also recently discussed forming a task force with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to rid the territory of illegal guns.
Francis said the presence of a firearm during an argument increases the likelihood that a murder will occur.
"Under normal circumstances you just walk away. Having a weapon changes things," he said.
"It shouldn’t have escalated," Francis said of Thursday's shooting.
Lawrence’s death is the territory's 14th murder this year. There have been six killings on St. Croix and eight in the St. Thomas-St. John district.

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St. Croix suffered its second murder in approximately 36 hours Thursday morning after an argument between two 19-year-old men over a marijuana plant left one of them dead.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. Thursday, police received a call of a shooting at Peppertree Terrace. At the scene, officers found Vincent Lawrence, 19, dead from a .38 caliber gunshot wound to the head. A medical examiner pronounced Lawrence dead at the scene, said St. Croix Deputy Police Chief Novelle Francis.
Charged with first-degree murder is 19-year-old Renaldo Santos.
Francis said that Lawrence, a landscaper at Peppertree Terrace, a gated housing community in Estate Diamond Ruby, apparently uprooted a marijuana plant growing in Santos’ yard sometime Wednesday. Santos confronted Lawrence on Thursday morning and the two argued.
"Renaldo came back later with a handgun, walked up to Vincent and pointed the gun at his face and discharged one shot," Francis said.
Thursday’s murder is the second this week on St. Croix. On Tuesday afternoon, Mannix Phillips, 33, of Mon Bijou was shot and killed when he intervened in a dispute between two brothers at the Aureo Diaz Heights housing community.
Within minutes of the shooting, police took Nathaniel Hazell into custody on charges of first-degree murder and illegal weapons possession charges. Hazell has been remanded to custody in lieu of $200,000 bail following an advice-of-rights hearing in Territorial Court.
In both murders an unlicensed firearm was used, Francis said, adding that that is the case in about 90 percent of violent incidents. In an effort to remove such weapons from the streets, police have held amnesty days when individuals can turn in weapons without any questions, Francis said. The V.I. Police Department has also recently discussed forming a task force with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to rid the territory of illegal guns.
Francis said the presence of a firearm during an argument increases the likelihood that a murder will occur.
"Under normal circumstances you just walk away. Having a weapon changes things," he said.
"It shouldn’t have escalated," Francis said of Thursday's shooting.
Lawrence’s death is the territory's 14th murder this year. There have been six killings on St. Croix and eight in the St. Thomas-St. John district.