The victim of a shooting Thursday in Sion Farm has died of his injuries, V.I. Police spokesman Toby Derima announced Friday.
Police identified the victim as Wayne A. Jerome, 22, of Estate Whim.
Jerome’s family and friends expressed shock and grief on social media Friday morning, and described Jerome as a hard-working father who was beloved by many on St. Croix.
The shooting occurred at around 5:20 p.m. Thursday.
Investigators determined that “Jerome was sitting in a black pickup truck in the field across the corner from the Lew Muckle Elementary School when he was approached by a slim male. Shortly after, Jerome exited his vehicle and was then shot multiple times by the slim male,” Derima said in a news release. “The suspect left the area in Jerome’s vehicle after the shooting. The truck was later recovered at the nearby Rudy Krigger Ballpark in Sion Farm.”
Jerome was transported to Luis Hospital via ambulance and he was initially listed in stable condition, according to police.
But in the early hours of Friday morning, Jerome’s loved ones began to plead for prayers on Facebook, and said he was fighting for his life. After his death, many posted messages expressing outrage and pleading for justice.
Police have not identified a suspect.
“Detectives are appealing to the Sion Farm community for information into this shooting, particularly those with residences around the location of the incident,” Derima said Friday.
Jerome’s death marks the 13th homicide in the territory so far this year, and the 10th on St. Croix. St. Thomas has recorded two homicides, and there was one murder on St. John on New Year’s Day.
Estate Contant shooting
In addition to Jerome’s murder, police are investigating two other recent shootings.
The first occurred just before 9 p.m. Wednesday on St. Thomas, and police responded to a report of multiple gunshot victims at Schneider Hospital.
“One male victim reported that he was at the Manuel Bar & Restaurant, located in Estate Contant, when two masked men entered the establishment with guns and opened fire,” Derima said in a news release. “He was injured as a result of the gunfire, and was transported to the hospital via ambulance for treatment, where he was listed in serious condition. Another victim was transported to the hospital via private vehicle for treatment of gunshot wounds from the incident. He was listed in critical condition, and is scheduled to be airlifted to a facility on the mainland for further treatment.”
Little Princess shooting
Police are also investigating a shooting that occurred at around 5 a.m. Thursday in Little Princess on St. Croix.
Officers responded “and found a 35-year-old Black male in a vehicle, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds,” according to Derima.
The victim told police that he was leaving his home to go to work when he heard gunshots and realized he’d been injured. The victim said he saw a white vehicle leaving the area but does not know who shot him.
The victim was transported to Luis Hospital for treatment, Derima said.
Anyone with information about Jerome’s murder or the two other shootings is urged to contact police by calling 911, the Crime TipLine at 340-778-4950, or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477 or crimestoppersvi.org.