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HomeNewsArchivesMore Arrests Expected in Luis Hospital Murder; Police Update Other Cases

More Arrests Expected in Luis Hospital Murder; Police Update Other Cases

July 29, 2008 — Four people arrested a few months ago on weapons and drug-possession charges are still considered "persons of interest" in an execution-style murder at St. Croix's Juan Luis Hospital, but police announced Tuesday they are eying additional suspects.
More arrests in the case will be made within the next few weeks, said St. Croix Police Chief Oakland Benta during a press conference on St. Thomas.
(See "Police Nab Four in Luis Hospital Murder.") Ongoing investigations into recent homicides in the Mon Bijou and Frederiksted areas have turned up additional leads, he said.
"More people are going to be arrested soon," Benta said.
Meanwhile, top police brass are looking at setting a standard reward for information leading to arrests and convictions in any open homicide case, according to Police Commissioner James H. McCall. An agreement with the attorney general would first have to be put in place, McCall said. He also announced that police have increased to $50,000 the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of retired Police Sgt. Liston Gumbs' killer. (See "Liston Gumbs Dies After Shooting Monday.")
"Sgt. Gumbs had just signed a NOPA (notice of personnel action) to come back to work for us in the forensics division," McCall said. "We have to send the message that you can't assault or kill a police officer without serious consequences."
In an effort to continue to combat the crime in both districts, police are setting up a mobile substation in Red Hook on St. Thomas and on St. Croix's North Shore in the area of Estate La Vallee. Also helping to fill in the gaps are police auxiliary members, up-and-coming cadets and local residents working through community-integration teams.
Community-integration teams on St. John have been meeting on a regular basis and are looking at implementing neighborhood watch programs, said St. John Deputy Police Chief Darren Foy. Team members are picked by the department and serve as a sort of advisory council that provides the department with information on crime and other issues confronting the island.
While Carnival festivities on St. John wrapped up this month without any major incidents, the department has also stepped up its patrol efforts, road blocks and traffic stops, which has led to two arrests within the past couple of weeks, Foy said. Meanwhile, active investigations into recent burglaries and assault cases should soon result in several arrests, he added.
Five guns have been recovered on St. John this year, Foy said. Traffic stops and other crime-fighting initiatives on St. Thomas have netted 54 guns so far this year, while 55 guns have been recovered on St. Croix.
The department is looking into arresting more suspects in connection with the shooting death of 30-year-old Dwayne "Gotti" Lynch, killed earlier this month in Hospital Ground, according to St. Thomas-St. John Police Chief Rodney Querrard. Four suspects — all hailing from Puerto Rico — have already been arrested and will be arraigned Thursday in V.I. Superior Court on St. Thomas. (See "One Dead in Hospital Ground Shooting.")
Meanwhile, the investigation is ongoing into the death of Rafael Caovaguis Pujols, killed last week at St. Thomas' Deja Vu Bar. Assault charges against 25-year-old Aneury Baez Reyna — arrested by police soon after the incident — were upgraded to first-degree murder after Pujols died of his wounds at Schneider Regional Medical Center.
Police also discussed:
— the installation of no-parking signs in the Red Hook area on St. Thomas (the signs emphasize parts of Red Hook that have already been designated as no parking areas, according to Querrard);
— a fight that broke out at a concert held over the weekend on St. Croix between minors from two different housing communities (while one person was shot and another stabbed during the incident, most of the minors involved were apprehended by police and their parents called, Benta said); and
— continuing work on a state-of-the-art forensics lab in the territory.
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July 29, 2008 -- Four people arrested a few months ago on weapons and drug-possession charges are still considered "persons of interest" in an execution-style murder at St. Croix's Juan Luis Hospital, but police announced Tuesday they are eying additional suspects.
More arrests in the case will be made within the next few weeks, said St. Croix Police Chief Oakland Benta during a press conference on St. Thomas.
(See "Police Nab Four in Luis Hospital Murder.") Ongoing investigations into recent homicides in the Mon Bijou and Frederiksted areas have turned up additional leads, he said.
"More people are going to be arrested soon," Benta said.
Meanwhile, top police brass are looking at setting a standard reward for information leading to arrests and convictions in any open homicide case, according to Police Commissioner James H. McCall. An agreement with the attorney general would first have to be put in place, McCall said. He also announced that police have increased to $50,000 the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of retired Police Sgt. Liston Gumbs' killer. (See "Liston Gumbs Dies After Shooting Monday.")
"Sgt. Gumbs had just signed a NOPA (notice of personnel action) to come back to work for us in the forensics division," McCall said. "We have to send the message that you can't assault or kill a police officer without serious consequences."
In an effort to continue to combat the crime in both districts, police are setting up a mobile substation in Red Hook on St. Thomas and on St. Croix's North Shore in the area of Estate La Vallee. Also helping to fill in the gaps are police auxiliary members, up-and-coming cadets and local residents working through community-integration teams.
Community-integration teams on St. John have been meeting on a regular basis and are looking at implementing neighborhood watch programs, said St. John Deputy Police Chief Darren Foy. Team members are picked by the department and serve as a sort of advisory council that provides the department with information on crime and other issues confronting the island.
While Carnival festivities on St. John wrapped up this month without any major incidents, the department has also stepped up its patrol efforts, road blocks and traffic stops, which has led to two arrests within the past couple of weeks, Foy said. Meanwhile, active investigations into recent burglaries and assault cases should soon result in several arrests, he added.
Five guns have been recovered on St. John this year, Foy said. Traffic stops and other crime-fighting initiatives on St. Thomas have netted 54 guns so far this year, while 55 guns have been recovered on St. Croix.
The department is looking into arresting more suspects in connection with the shooting death of 30-year-old Dwayne "Gotti" Lynch, killed earlier this month in Hospital Ground, according to St. Thomas-St. John Police Chief Rodney Querrard. Four suspects -- all hailing from Puerto Rico -- have already been arrested and will be arraigned Thursday in V.I. Superior Court on St. Thomas. (See "One Dead in Hospital Ground Shooting.")
Meanwhile, the investigation is ongoing into the death of Rafael Caovaguis Pujols, killed last week at St. Thomas' Deja Vu Bar. Assault charges against 25-year-old Aneury Baez Reyna -- arrested by police soon after the incident -- were upgraded to first-degree murder after Pujols died of his wounds at Schneider Regional Medical Center.
Police also discussed:
-- the installation of no-parking signs in the Red Hook area on St. Thomas (the signs emphasize parts of Red Hook that have already been designated as no parking areas, according to Querrard);
-- a fight that broke out at a concert held over the weekend on St. Croix between minors from two different housing communities (while one person was shot and another stabbed during the incident, most of the minors involved were apprehended by police and their parents called, Benta said); and
-- continuing work on a state-of-the-art forensics lab in the territory.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.