Five arrested after man killed and officer shot in incident at nightclub


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ST. CROIX - Police have arrested five men in connection to a shootout outside a mid-island nightclub Saturday morning that left one man dead and a police detective in serious but stable condition.

V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames that Elijah Felix, 18; Eugene Roberts, 26; Derick Liburd, 23; Lester Roberts, 24 and Larry Williams, 29 were all arrested and charged with first-degree assault, illegal firearms possession and related charges in connection to the assaults that were reported just after 3 a.m. Saturday.

Rames said that according to preliminary reports, a man and his girlfriend were leaving Front Line Nightclub on Midland Road when they were confronted by several men as they got to their vehicle.

She said shots were fired and the man was fatally wounded while sitting in his truck in the parking area outside the club.

Emergency medical personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene, she said.

When the shots were fired, witnesses alerted an off duty police officer who was inside the club, Rames said. The officer approached the group of men, some of whom had weapons displayed, identified himself as a police officer and ordered them to drop their weapons.

She said the men did not comply and shots were fired, hitting the police officer in his back.

The police officer was later taken to Luis Hospital where he had emergency surgery and remains in stable condition as of Sunday.

The wounded officer has more than 20 years on the force, but Rames said because of the nature of the incident police have declined to provide more information about the officer, including his identify, out of concern for his safety.

Officers were alerted to a vehicle accident in the area of Morning Star Hill at the same time they were notified of the shooting at Front Line, Rames said.

When officers responded to the scene of the accident, they found that three passengers inside the wrecked vehicle were suffering from gunshot injuries and the driver and another passenger had injuries resulting from the crash, she said.

Police confiscated at least five firearms from the vehicle and the five were taken to the hospital for treatment and were subsequently arrested there.

Police said another person who was not involved in the incident at the nightclub was hit by a stray bullet and was rushed to Luis Hospital for treatment.

Numerous family members of the wounded men remained outside the hospital Saturday afternoon as the facility was placed on heightened security because of the shooting. They complained about denied access to the facility.

St. Croix Police Chief James Parris said the shooting will not deter the department from its role of protecting the community.

"We will not tolerate any unprovoked assault on our officers and we will leave no stone unturned to bring those guilty of such behavior to justice," he said.

The five men remain hospitalized but in police custody and because of the holiday weekend they are not scheduled to appear before a magistrate for an advice-of-rights hearing before 9 a.m. Tuesday.

- Contact Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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