St. Thomas recorded the first homicide of the year on New Year’s morning when Tahien Thomas died of gunshot injuries at the Schneider Regional Medical Center about nine hours after being shot.
A police statement said Thomas was shot in the Bovoni area of St. Thomas minutes after midnight. He died at 8:55 a.m.
A law enforcement source confirmed that by the time homicide detectives arrived at the scene of the shooting, Thomas had already been transported to the hospital for treatment of a single gunshot wound to the head.
What remains unclear is whether Thomas was the target of an assailant or whether he was struck by a stray bullet from the customary illegal discharge of firearms that mark the beginning of the new year. Throughout last week, police personnel had cautioned against the practice because of the inherent dangers associated with randomly discharging shots.
The territory recorded more than 50 murders in 2016.