ST. THOMAS — A man was shot dead in the Savan area in St. Thomas on Sunday night, bringing the total homicides in the U.S. Virgin Islands for 2020 to 25 — 14 in St. Thomas, 10 on St. Croix and 1 on St. John, according to V.I.P.D. Public Information Officer Toby Derima.
The latest death follows the Senate's tabling of a bill sponsored by Senator Myron Jackson, which sought to create what would be called the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, after senators contended that the measure represented another layer of bureaucracy in government for tasks already delegated to government-run and nonprofit organizations. Mr. Jackson called the criticism "misconceptions."
He said what is being missed is that the Office of Gun Violence Prevention would serve as a coordination point, where none currently exists, to unite scattered and piecemeal efforts by governmental and non-profit entities under one umbrella. By bringing critical wrap-around services under one agency, longterm reduction in gun violence is more likely.
On Sunday at approximately 9:41 p.m., the 911 Emergency Call Center received a call of a gunshot victim in the Savan area of St. Thomas.
According to Mr. Derima, officers traveled to the area and found a male individual, subsequently identified as 24-year-old Vernon Rawlins, who sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Rawlins was transported to Roy L. Schneider Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.
This case is under investigation. The V.I.P.D. is asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211 extension 5569 or Crime Stoppers USVI with an anonymous tip here.