A 20-year-old woman was struck by a stray bullet at about 3 a.m. Saturday outside a Charlotte Amalie nightclub and died of her injury, the V.I. Police Department reported.
The victim was identified as Bria Evans. It was the 23rd homicide on St. Thomas since the beginning of the year, the 34th in the territory.
According to police, officers doing normal patrols at 3:10 a.m. outside the Krush Bar & Nightclub responded to shots fired approximately 200 to 300 yards from the nightclub. At the time of the incident, officers were patrolling the area in front of the nightclub and had their flashing blue lights engaged, the police said.
At the scene, the officers discovered a young woman, later identified as Evans, who had sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach, suffered from a stray bullet. The officers immediately began lifesaving measures which continued until emergency medical technicians arrived on the scene.
Evans was transferred to the hospital, where she died at approximately 5:50 a.m.
According to witnesses, Evans had been with a group of friends outside of the club talking at the time of the incident. No one else was reported injured.
Jason Marsh, acting chief of the St. Thomas-St. John District, called on the community to help capture the perpetrator.
"VIPD is deeply saddened by this tragic loss of an innocent young bystander and our condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Evans," Marsh said at a Saturday afternoon news conference. "As a member of this community and as the chief of police, I ask that anyone having information on this crime, or any other crime that has affected our community, to please come forward."
Marsh also issued a challenge to the perpetrator to do the right thing.
"If you were directly involved in this incident, there is a young lady that lost her life for no reason. Turn yourself in, and make this right. The Virgin Islands Police Department is committed to solving this and any crime that is committed in this territory," he said.
The VIPD asked anyone with information about the crime to contact the department at 340-774-2211, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-714-9801, the 911 emergency call center, or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers VI, at 1-800-222-8477.