Jose Delacruz, an employee in the 29th Legislature’s Business Office, was shot to death early Sunday morning near the Legislative offices in Frederiksted. Four men were detained for questioning but later released by police pending further investigation.
According to the Virgin Islands Police Department, the 28-year-old De La Cruz was shot multiple times and collapsed from his injuries in the parking lot across from the Frederiksted Vegetable Market. When EMTs responded to the scene they said Cruz had no vital signs.
It was the 16th homicide in the territory since the first of the year, the 11th on St. Croix. By this date in 2010, there had been 15 homicides on St Croix and 27 in the territory as a whole.
Police rceived the reports of shots fired in Frederiksted at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Shortly after officers arrived on the scene, another patrol unit stopped a car on the La Grange Road. The car carried four occupants who matched the description of people involved in the shooting. They were detained and questioned by detectives, however they were later released.
Criminal Investigation Bureau detectives urge the public to contact police with any information they may have about this case by calling 712-6075, 712-6037, 712-6077 or you can call Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-TIPS.
Police Commissioner Novelle E. Francis Jr. reminded the public that there is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of this murder suspect or any other murder suspect in a Virgin Islands case.
Sunday, Sen. Janette Millin Young issued a statement calling for the community at large to play an active role in lessening the incidence of gun violence.
"It is nearly impossible to express how saddened I am to hear that the territory has registered yet another homicide," she wrote in the statement. "On behalf of my family and staff, I extend my condolences to his family, friends and coworkers,” she said.
The senator called for a concerted multi-agency effort in partnership with the community to combat crime and violence.