ST. CROIX — The Virgin Islands Police Department has designated a fatal shooting that occurred late Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Gallows Bay Hardware Store as a targeted assassination-style murder, V.I.P.D. Public Information Officer Glen Dratte said today.
According to Mr. Dratte, at about 11:51 a.m., the 911 emergency call center received notification of a shooting incident that occurred in the vicinity of the hardware store.
Officers and emergency personnel responded to the scene and found an unresponsive black male lying on the ground. Emergency medical technicians attempted to resuscitated the victim, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
According to Mr. Dratte, a V.I.P.D. preliminary investigation revealed that the incident was a targeted shooting, as the victim was approached by multiple individuals who shot him several times. Police Commissioner Delroy Richards, quoting eye witnesses, said the incident occurred in the parking lot of the hardware store, and that a number of suspects who were wearing masks left a vehicle, ran up to the individual and shot him multiple times.
The commissioner said the incident was first reported as a robbery, but further information upon the arrival of detectives revealed it to be a targeted homicide. Mr. Richards also said that police were following a number of leads.
The deceased was identified by next of kin as Eustace Shillingford, 26.
The incident is currently under active investigation. If you know of any information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects, send the details anonymously to Crime Stoppers USVI here. You may also contact the V.I.P.D. at 340-778-2211.
Today’s homicide brings the territory’s total for 2018 to 43, with 31 incidents in St. Croix and 12 in the St. Thomas-St. John District, according to information provided by the Police Department.