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Minors Detained on Firearm Charges, One Wounded

Three minors, aged from 15 to 17, one of them wounded by a gunshot, were arrested Sunday night on St. Thomas and charged with a violation of a firearms law, the V.I. Police Department reported.

According to police, at about midnight on Sept. 27, the 911 emergency call center dispatched officers to Moravian Highway on a report of shots fired. Officers on the way to the area noticed a silver vehicle passing them at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was followed to the Schneider Regional Medical Center.

The vehicle had a driver and two passengers, all minors. One of the passengers, a 17-year-old male, had sustained a gunshot wound and was taken to the hospital’s emergency room for treatment. Officers found a firearm in the vehicle, and the two 15-year-old males in the vehicle were taken into protective custody and charged with constructive possession of an unlicensed firearm.

St. Thomas/St. John/Water Island District Police Chief Steven Philip said he was saddened by the news that a juvenile was injured by gunfire this weekend. The chief called on parents and guardians to help reduce firearm possession by juveniles within the territory.

“Juvenile gun possession is one of the threats to public safety in the territory. As parents we must ensure that our children understand the danger,” Philip said.

Police urged anyone with information about the incident to call 911, the Youth Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211 or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477 (1-800-222-TIPS).

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