A 42-year-old man, identified Wednesday by Government House as V.I. National Guard Staff Sergeant David Francois, was fatally shot on a Frederiksted area beach Monday, the V.I. Police Department reported.
It was the 16th homicide on St. Croix this year, the 32nd in the territory. The name of the deceased was not disclosed by police.
Police were notified of the incident at about 2:30 p.m. Monday when a woman called the the Wilbur Francis Command, Zone B at Estate Hannah’s Rest in Frederiksted.
According to the police report, the woman said she and her husband were swimming near the Target Wall beach, which is not far from the Vincent Mason Coral Beach Pool when her husband decided to get out of the water. The wife said she remained in the water for a while.
When she went to where her husband was, she found him unresponsive and suffering with a gunshot wound. When she contacted police she told them that she did not hear any gunshots and did not see people or vehicles in the area.
Members of the Major Crime and Criminal Investigation Bureau have classified this shooting as a murder and are actively investigating this case. Forensic technicians were on the scene searching for evidence.
The victim was removed from the scene by medical personnel.
Tusday’s V.I. Police statement did not name the victim, but a statement from Government House Wednesday identified him as Sgt. Francois. In the statement, Gov. John deJongh Jr. expressed condolences to the family and friends of Francois.
“It is a difficult time for his family, his many friends and his extended family at the National Guard," the governor said in a statement released Wednesday by Government House. "We recall a man who often times put the interests of others ahead of his own, a person who was filled with love and compassion,” de Jongh said.
Detectives of the Virgin Islands Police Department are investigating the fatal shooting. Anyone with information about the murder can call detectives at 1-340-712-6075 or 1-340-712-6077, the 911 emergency call center, or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.