Oct. 26, 2002 – Police on St. Croix are looking at the recent shooting death of a man near the Paradise Mills housing community as possibly being related to another killing that took place a short distance away, a few days before.
Ricky Maxwell, 24, was shot several times Wednesday night by an unknown assailant. He was found gravely wounded in a storeroom of Paradise Mills Building 3 and died later that night at Juan F. Luis Hospital.
The shooting took place "within a few hundred feet" of where 19-year-old Julio Rivera was fatally shot on Oct. 17, according to Police Lt. Gregory Bennerson, the chief investigator. Both incidents may have been linked to drugs, Bennerson said on Saturday.
The area where the two deaths occurred is recognized by authorities as a congregating point for people — not necessarily public housing residents — who buy and sell drugs.
But police also are looking at the possibility that Maxwell may have been shot in retaliation for the earlier shooting at Paradise Mills.
Maxwell's death was the third homicide recorded this month that occurred near a public housing community on St. Croix. On Oct. 7, the decomposed body of Noel Rivera was found in a bushy area near the Walter I.M. Hodge Pavilion. The nature of the man's death was not immediately evident at the time of the discovery, Bennerson said, but gunshot wounds were found on the body in later examination, and the case was ruled a homicide.
The two Riveras were not related, police said.
Police are now going door to door in the communities in search of clues. Bennerson said there has been some cooperation from residents, but much of the information that has been shared so far was already known to investigators.
Anyone who may be able to assist police with the investigation of these crimes is asked to call the police at 778-2211 or emergency number, 911.
The three killings brought the homicide toll for 2002 to 18 on St. Croix and 36 territorywide, compared with 10 on St. Croix and 20 in the Virgin Islands as of this time last year.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Support the VI Source

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall - we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. Our sites are more popular than ever, but advertising revenues are falling - so you can see why we could use your help. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. If everybody who appreciates our reporting efforts were to help fund it for as little as $1, our future would be much more secure. Thanks in advance for your support!