Erran Charles, a 34-year-old Dominica native living in Horse Path, was killed during a shooting in Huntums Ghut on Sunday night, police reported on Monday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another victim of the shooting, a 17-year-old who has not been publicly identified, was injured and received treatment at Peebles Hospital, police said. The teenager remained in stable condition as of Monday afternoon.
Mr. Charles studied business administration at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and worked as a chef at Royal Caribbean International, according to his Facebook page. As news of his death spread on social media, friends and relatives wrote tributes to the 34-year-old.
“You picked me up from the airport two weeks ago. … We talked, laughed, drank and it was so good to be around you,” one woman wrote on Facebook.
Another wrote: “Just feeling so overwhelmed today. This is a hard one! He was well-loved!”
Mr. Charles’s death marks the first homicide in the territory of 2019. Last year, six people were shot and killed in the Virgin Islands.
But in this week’s press release, police admitted that details surrounding the most recent shooting are limited, though officers will continue to conduct interviews and are asking witnesses of the shooting to contact the Major Crime Team.
Police Information Officer Diane Drayton added that since the beginning of the year, the police force has deployed extra armed officers on evening and overnight patrols, particularly around “large gatherings and hotspot areas.”
“Through these efforts, much of the antisocial behaviour around communities has been minimised,” Ms. Drayton wrote, but did not go into further detail.
Deputy Police Commissioner Alwin James said in the release that members of the public are urged to come forward with information about the crime.
“While police cannot prevent every premeditated act, our objective is to make life difficult for opportunists to carry out random criminal acts,” he said.