A St. Croix man was arrested for second-degree murder on Thursday in connection with a shooting death in April that at first appeared to be a suicide, the V.I. Police Department reported.
Steven Moore Jr., 27, was arrested early Thursday morning by members of the VIPD’s Criminal Investigation and Special Operation bureaus who also executed a search warrant at his home in the Louis Brown housing community that was issued on Sept. 28 by Magistrate Judge Yolan Brow-Ross.
Moore is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Michael Petersen, whose father found him dead from a gunshot wound to his head the afternoon of April 10 at his Estate Whim home.
Moore is also charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm after a fully loaded gun and two additional magazines with ammunition were found in his bedroom during the search Thursday, police said. A record check revealed that he was not authorized to possess or carry a firearm, according to the report.
The case began on April 10 at 4:56 p.m. when the 911 Emergency Call Center dispatched the Wilbur Francis Command units to a possible suicide in Estate Whim, police said.
The father of the victim was interviewed and stated that he last spoke to his son on April 9 at 2:30 p.m. The victim said he was not feeling well, and the father got him some medication around 3 p.m. That was the last time he saw his son alive.
On April 10 at 4:30 p.m., the father went to check on his son and found him dead with a gunshot wound to his head, lying on his back with his body partially covered with a sheet, according to the police report.
Community assistance was sought to determine when the gunfire occurred and if anyone saw any unusual movement near Petersen’s residence prior to police arrival.
During the investigation, detectives learned that Moore had been at Petersen’s home, where they had previously hung out, police said. Investigation further revealed that Moore left but later returned to the residence, where he shot and killed Petersen, the report stated.
Moore was arrested Thursday without incident and, unable to post bail of $200,000, was remanded to the John Bell Correctional Facility pending an advice of rights hearing on Friday, the report stated.
Petersen’s death is St. Croix’s 22nd homicide of the year, and brings the territory’s toll to 29, according to the Source Homicide List.*
The Source Homicide List is a chronological log of the homicides recorded in 2022 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as reported by the VIPD. Cases are broken down by island. While this listing is based on VIPD reports, the Source does not include suicides or vehicular homicides in its listing that the police and some other media do. This can lead to a discrepancy in the number of incidents reported.