A 22-year-old man became the territory’s 20th homicide victim early Saturday morning in the Estate Castle Coakley area.
Police, who are investigating the incident, did not release the man’s name Saturday until his family could be notified he was dead.
According to a news release from the Virgin Islands Police Department, officers were notified by 911 dispatchers of a man down at about 6:15 a.m. When police and emergency medical technicians arrived at the scene and found the victim, medical personnel could not find any signs of life on the body.
The victim sustained at least one gunshot would. The exact number of gunshots will be determined by a medical examiner.
According to St. Croix Deputy Chief Christopher Howell, robbery seemed to be the motive, although police are not ruling out other motives. Criminal Investigation and Major Crime Bureau detectives along with Forensic technicians canvassed the area, interviewing people in the area and collecting evidence.
The preliminary investigation revealed that persons in the area heard at least one gunshot at about 9 p.m. Friday; however no one called 911 to report shots fired.
Police are urging the community to immediately call 911 whenever they hear gunshots and provide as much information as possible to assist police in pinpointing the source of the shots. Whenever gunshots are heard there might be a person injured who needs immediate medical assistance, Howell said. Any delay in treatment worsens their condition and increases the chance that a victim could die.
Howell said all calls of shots fired will be investigated by police officers.
Commissioner Novelle E. Francis Jr. reminded the public there is a standing $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of any homicide suspect. All calls and information will be kept confidential. Anyone with any information on this killing or any other case can call 911, the Major Crime Bureau at 712-6075, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 712-6077, or the anonymous tip service Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Saturday’s homicide was the 11th on St. Croix since the beginning of the year. It was the fifth in the territory since the beginning of March.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained the wrong total number of homicides for the territory since the beginning of the year. The list, which has been corrected, contained one shooting death that has been determined to not be a homicide.