Murder suspect Isaac Austrie died at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas early Saturday after a Friday night shootout witih police.
Austrie, 27, and Kamoui Francis, 21, were the subjects of an island-wide man hunt conducted by police nearly two weeks ago after Francis escaped police custody. The two were wanted in connection with the murder of 38-year-old Mao Penha on Aug. 7 in the Hospital Ground Area.
Francis was captured by police on Sept. 16, and police announced Friday that their Special Response Team had finally apprehended Austrie in Smith Bay. A police investigation found that Austrie was located in an apartment in the area, and police obtained a search and arrest warrant before moving in.
After police entered the building, Austrie opened fire on the officers, according to a police news release. The officers returned fire, striking Austrie at least once in the upper body.
None of the officers were injured during the shootout, but Police Department Territorial Public Information Officer Melody Rames said Sunday that Austrie had died after being taken to the hospital for treatment.
Police crowded the scene after the incident. While Rames said she did not have an exact count of how many officers and units responded, citizens reported sirens screeching across the middle of the island as Austrie was brought down in the ambulance.
Criminal Investigation Bureau detectives and Internal Affairs agents are conducting separate investigations into the incident, Rames said Sunday.
Austrie has had some previous run-ins with the law, and was tried three times over the past few years: twice for first-degree murder, and once for illegal gun possession.
In the department’s recent news release, St. Thomas- St. John Police Chief Rodney F. Querrard Sr. congratulated the officers involved in the arrest for "their unrelenting pursuit of the suspect."
“The officers knew Austrie was armed and dangerous," Querrard said. "They used their training to apprehend the suspect without endangering their lives or the lives of residents in the area.”