V.I. Police have arrested a Morningstar, St. Croix, man in the death of V.I. Army National Guard Sgt. Ian Benjamin Sr.
Sharif Matthew was arrested on a warrant at 1:49 p.m. Friday and charged with first-degree-murder, according to V.I. Police Public Information Officer Toby Derima in a prepared statement on Sunday.
Previously, officers arrested Ta’Jhanique Cumberbatch, 22, of Estate Betsy’s Jewel, St. Croix, in the slaying, charging her with a litany of crimes including first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Benjamin of Estate Carlton was shot at his residence on March 2 and died at Luis Hospital after calling 911 for help. His death was one of six in just four days in the territory.
Since Benjamin’s death, his son has been arrested twice, for illegal gun possession in April after a search of his home and again in June on a warrant charging him with attempted murder in a Dec. 22 Marley Homes shooting. Ian Benjamin Jr., who was shot in the December incident, said he was attempting to buy a bag of marijuana when he was shot.
Shortly after Ian Benjamin Sr.’s death, Brig. Gen. Kodjo Knox-Limbacker, the adjutant general of the V.I. National Guard, released a statement about the death of one of his soldiers at home.
“We lost one of our soldiers, who wasn’t killed by wounds suffered in a theater of war defending our nation abroad, but at home in a barrage of gunfire similar to that of war,” Knox-Limbacker said.
“There are no words that will bring Sgt. Ian Benjamin back or any that truly consoles his family, friends and comrades for his loss.”
He added, “All of our heartfelt condoles and prayers for the family will not solve this type of problem in our community.”
Unable to post $1 million bail, Matthew was remanded to the custody of the Corrections Bureau, pending his advise of rights hearing.