Three dead in two shootings on St. Croix

Virgin Islands Police officers respond Monday night to Aureo Diaz Heights housing community on St. Croix where four individuals were shot, and transported to Luis Hospital. Two victims later succumbed to their injuries.

After a night that left three individuals dead on St. Croix, the territory is on pace for 2021 to be the deadliest year in at least a decade.

The first shooting, which claimed two lives, occurred in the mid-island Aureo Diaz Heights housing community. At 7:47 p.m., the 911 Emergency Call Center received notification of shots fired, according to V.I. Police Department spokesman Toby Derima.

Four shooting victims were transported to Luis Hospital where two of the victims succumbed to their injuries, Derima said.

Less than two hours later, and less than a mile away, a second shooting would leave another victim dead, according to Derima.

At 9:25 p.m., the Emergency Call Center received reports of a shooting on Queen Mary Highway near the La Reine Shopping Center.

Two individuals were struck by gunfire with one of the victims dying at the scene and the second victim being transported to Luis Hospital.

At presstime this morning, police were not able to release additional information about the shootings, including the identities of the victims.

Derima said police plan to hold a press conference at 10 a.m. today, at which time they hope to be able to release more information. So far this year, three have been 18 homicides in the Virgin Islands, 15 on St. Croix, two on St. Thomas and one on St. John. Recently, Lt. Leslie Williams, police commander for St. Croix’s west end, noted a general uptick in crime islandwide.

“We have to do something with the resources that we have to increase our presence,” Williams said.

Police are urging anyone with information about the recent shootings or other crimes to contact police — anonymously if necessary. To report information, call 911, the Crime Tipline at 340-778-4950 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers USVI at 800-222-8477.