The recent murder of 20-year-old Bria Evans has sent shock waves throughout the St. Thomas community and, while law enforcement is strongly encouraging whoever is responsible to turn themselves in, at least one business in the area is doing what it can to work with police on making things safer.
On Saturday at approximately 3 a.m., St. Thomas Police responded to shots fired in the vicinity of Nisky Center. While initial reports stated that Evans was shot while she and a group of friends were leaving the Krush Night Club, updated statements from police said that shots were fired from a vehicle parked at the entrance of Nisky Center in the direction of the Doctor’s Choice Pharmacy, which is close to Pueblo in Subbase.
Evans sustained a gunshot wound while standing in the vicinity of the pharmacy. She was rushed to the Schneider Regional Medical Center and died in surgery at 5:53 a.m. Since her death, family and friends have posted their condolences on Facebook, praising Evans’ cooking abilities, her enthusiastic spirit and her achievements at Charlotte Amalie High School, where she attended.
While many contacted by the Source this week have said it was difficult for them to talk, the management at Krush Night Club have been vocal about the efforts they are making to find the perpetrator or perpetrators, including offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect.
The club’s owner said Tuesday night that he and his team are also meeting with police on Friday to put a strategy in place for making the area safer. Police have already been working with the nearby clubs, and are generally on patrol from 1 to 4 a.m., but on the night of the shooting, the officer making his rounds did hit a bit of traffic that delayed his arrival at Nisky by a few minutes, according to Krush staff.
Whether he was delayed or not, however, the incident has played upon the concerns of many business owners in the area, who encounter vehicles that park up outside waiting for “certain individuals” to exit, the club’s owner said.
“This has been our biggest concern,” he added. “It’s not necessarily people frequenting the club, and like many other businesses in the area, we do have a no loitering policy. But we often hear from other people that there are individuals nearby, parked up, waiting for someone specific to come outside, and the problem is that we can only control what happens on our premises.”
“If it’s happening down the street,” the club owner continued, “there’s nothing we can do about it, but that is what we have been speaking to the police about and how we can put together a plan so that something like this tragedy doesn’t happen again.”
The owner said the feedback from the community about the reward has been positive and that other efforts are in the place to work with other businesses, such as the nearby Central Air, to put in place an extended surveillance system that would improve visibility in the area. Police have already come in and collected whatever footage they could from Krush and others, but creating a network of “eyes on the street” can only improve the odds of someone getting caught, he said.
At a press conference later that day, District Police Chief Jason Marsh also called on the St. Thomas-St. John community to help nab the killer.
"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 Saturday afternoon. "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."
At the press conference, 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.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding these cases to contact Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit a web tip at www.crimestoppersvi.org or www.P3TIPS.com. You also call the Criminal Investigations task force at 340 774 2211 or 911.