Barrage of Gunshots Rattle Sunny Isle, Leaving 20-Year-Old Dead in Vehicle

  • Ernice Gilbert
  • January 22, 2023

Andy Christian, age 20 of Estate Whim, was gunned down in Sunny Isle during the nighttime of Jan. 21, 2023. By. V.I. CONSORTIUM

ST. CROIX — The U.S. Virgin Islands has started 2023 with multiple deadly shootings in the first three weeks, as the territory experienced its third homicide for the year Saturday night when a young man was gunned down in Sunny Isle while in his vehicle. According to law enforcement personnel, the assailants discharged a barrage of shots — 27 rounds — leaving the victim lifeless.

V.I.P.D. Director of Communications Glen Dratte said that at about 9:43 p.m. Saturday, the department's ShotSpotter technology, which alerts law enforcement when gunshots are discharged in an area, notified officers of gunfire in Sunny Isle in the vicinity of Kmart. Around the same time, a concerned resident provided an identical report to the 911 Emergency Call Center.

Upon arrival to the scene, law enforcement examined a deceased man who was shot multiple times in his upper torso while sitting in his vehicle, according to Criminal Investigation Bureau Chief, Lieutenant Naomi Joseph.

The victim was identified by next of kin as 20-year-old Andy Christian of Whim. 

Residents reported being startled by the barrage of gunshots that ricocheted through the shopping center, which was mainly quiet as no shopping activity was taking place. A video making the rounds on social media, including WhatsApp, partially captured the moment the gunshots were discharged. The Consortium was able to detect over 20 shots based on the video.

The murder of Christian was the third in the U.S. Virgin Islands for 2023, with the first two incidents occurring in St. Thomas — the first on Jan. 15 in Market Square, St. Thomas, where a man was pronounced dead after being shot multiple times, and the second in Coki Point on Jan. 19, according to the police department.

Meanwhile, a man was shot in St. Thomas in the upper body Saturday night and was transported to the Schneider Regional Medical Center for treatment, the V.I.P.D. has confirmed to the Consortium. The victim's condition could not be determined at time of publication. 

The V.I.P.D. has launched an investigation into the homicide and is asking anyone with information to contact the CIB Tipline at 340-778-4950 or 340 712 6092. You may also send an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers USVI here.

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