A 9-year-old boy died Monday night after being shot in the head while playing outside, the V.I. Police Department reported Tuesday.
The victim was identified by his mother as Christino Jose Gonzalez. It was the 21st homicide on St. Croix since the beginning of the year, according to the Source homicide list*, the 33rd in the territory.
According to police, at 6:20 p.m. 911 received call of a nine-year-old male gun shot victim outside of building C, in front of apartment 9-10 in Croixville. EMS dispatched to the scene attempted to resuscitate the injured minor with no success. The minor was transported to the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Preliminary investigation shows the young victim received one gunshot wound to the back of his head. A shell casing was recovered but no pellet gun or pellets were recovered from the crime scene.
This matter is being investigated jointly by the Juvenile and Criminal Investigation Bureaus and remains open pending further investigation.
Police have detained a 15-year-old suspect.
The VIPD urged anyone with information about the case to call police at 340-778-2211 or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.
* The Source homicide list is based on police reports, but the VIPD list includes vehicular homicides and suicides, as do the lists in some other media. The Source list does not, which is why there are often discrepancies in the number of homicides in the two lists.