July 12, 2008 — Retired Police Sgt. Liston Gumbs died Monday night after being shot during an armed robbery earlier that day at a grocery store in Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas.
His former colleagues and supervisors had kind words for him.
The untimely passing of Sgt. Gumbs is a loss not only to his family, friends and colleagues but also to the entire Virgin Islands community which he dedicated his lifes work to serve and protect. said Attorney General Vincent Frazer.
Gov. John DeJongh Jr. said the loss of Sgt. Gumbs leaves not only a void in the lives of his loved ones but is a loss to the law enforcement community.
"Sgt. Gumbs was well-trained and well-versed in the field of police forensics," DeJongh said. Police Commissioner James McCall , who is in the states recovering from surgery said Sergeant Gumbs was a good friend and will be missed.
Acting Police Commissioner Novelle Francis Jr. expressed condolences on behalf of the entire police department. Another brother has died as a result of senseless violence, Francis said.
Though retired and not an active-duty police officer, Gumbs died in the course of coming to the aid of a fellow citizen.
According to the police report, he was shopping in a Lindbergh Bay grocery store when he observed a man talking to the cashier in an aggressive manner. As he approached, he saw the individual was holding a gun and realized it was a robbery attempt. A struggle ensued between the suspect and Gumbs, who was shot.
Sen. Carlton "Ital" Dowe said he had been fortunate enough to have worked with Gumbs when Down was with Fire Services. "He was an excellent officer especially in forensics," Dowe said. "Though retired from the police force for many years, when Sgt. Gumbs saw the need to protect and serve, without hesitation he stepped in as he had been trained to do and had done in so many instances. Indeed Sgt. Gumbs made the ultimate sacrifice for this community by giving his life.
Gumbs joined the V.I. Police Department in 1974, serving until his retirement in 1995. He was planning on returning to the force to help train new officers. He leaves behind three sons and two daughters. He was 62 years old.
There will be a viewing Wednesday, July 16, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Alexander A. Farrelly Justice Center courtyard, and a candlelight service at 7 p.m. There will be a second viewing, Thursday, July 17 from 9 to 10 a.m. at Christchurch Methodist Church in Market Square. Services will be at 10 a.m. and burial services at Western Cemetery No. 2 after the service.
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