VIPD Assists Probe of Bus Stop Shooting

A top police official said Tuesday the Virgin Islands Police Department is assisting the investigation into a recent shooting incident outside a Charlotte Amalie hotel.

But Assistant Police Commissioner Curtis Griffin said that incident – in which a peace officer drew a firearm and discharged a shot – does not reflect upon any actions taken by VIPD.

Details about an alleged July 9 altercation in the roadway outside the Windward Passage Hotel, however, have not been made public by authorities. A video recorded of the incident and posted to social media shows the moment when an emergency vehicle arrives on the scene and the sound of a single gunshot is heard.

About three emergency vehicles were seen in the video, which was shot by hotel guests observing the scene from a window. In the video a struggle is seen between a male and a female around a car moving in the vicinity of a public bus stop.

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At one point, two – possibly three – people are seen engaged in a struggle. One is thrown to the ground. A few moments later, emergency vehicles start arriving on the scene as the vehicle from which the fight appeared to erupt attempts to pull away, slamming into an object nearby.

The scene appearing in the video shows the alleged incident took place after dark. The shot was heard as another vehicle, with a blue light flashing, closes in near the vehicle moving away from the bus stop.

That is when gunfire is heard.

The marshal service is administered by the office of the presiding judge of the Superior Court. An attempt to confirm earlier reports that the marshal involved has been placed on leave was not successful.

Griffin said Tuesday that VIPD investigators have been asked to turn over information that might add details to the fact finding process.

“We’ve been in touch with the marshal’s office. They say they’re investigating and they have asked us for some assistance in the way of providing information and we have agreed to assist,” he said.

Attorney General Claude Walker declined to comment on the incident, except to say that a week later, the matter was still under investigation.

Improper use of deadly force by police has been the subject of a federal consent decree for more than a dozen years in the Virgin Islands. But Griffin said this incident involving an armed peace officer would not be included.

“They are not under VIPD in terms of the consent decree,” the assistant commissioner said.

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