The scene of a fight at Buck Island on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. By VIDEO OF THE INCIDENT
ST. CROIX — Gunshots were fired on federally-controlled Buck Island on Sunday, an incident that led to a high-speed chase on St. Croix, with both V.I.P.D. officers and Park Service Rangers engaging in an effort to bring into custody those involved in the incident.
According to V.I.P.D. Public Information Officer Toby Derima, the 911 Emergency Call Center gave notification of shots fired on Buck Island at 5:08 p.m. Additionally, Park Service officers responded to an incident where two individuals may have been injured, but not by the gunshots fired, Mr. Derima said, citing the 911 report.
Mr. Derima said the high-speed chase on St. Croix was in connection with the Buck Island incident. Details remained fluid as of Sunday night and Park Service officers were taking the lead on the investigation, Mr. Derima said. It is possible, however, that the injured individuals could be linked to a fight on the beach yesterday. Coast Guard and Dept. of Planning and Natural Resources enforcement arms were also involved in the response, according to reports.
A number of boats were reportedly stopped at Chenay Bay beach on Sunday afternoon by a number of law enforcement arms both local and federal. Boats were also reportedly pursued to Cramers Park. The Consortium witnessed a number law enforcement on Sunday afternoon — including the V.I.P.D. and Park Service Rangers — on the East End as if responding to an emergency.
According to a video viewed by the Consortium, seen here, multiple individuals were engaged in a brawl that saw at least one person being pinned to the ground while sustaining multiple punches from a number of other people. Thereafter, Park Service sirens started blaring and the fight, after a while, ended as those involved scattered.
The fight and gunshots may lead to stricter enforcement of Buck Island rules already in place.
The Buck Island National Monument is an uninhabited, 176 acre island about 1.5 miles off the northeast coast of St. Croix. According to the National Park Service, the island includes over 19,000 acres of submerged land, and was first established as a protected area by the U.S. Government in 1948. The U.S. National Monument was created in 1961 by John F. Kennedy and expanded in 2001 by Bill Clinton.
An update from V.I. National Parks on the shooting and fight is here.