Injuries sustained in shooting could affect St. Thomas teen's ability to walk

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ST. THOMAS - A young man's ability to walk could be permanently affected after he was shot just before 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Schneider Hospital physicians told V.I. Police that they are uncertain how a gunshot wound to a 19-year-old's lower back will affect his ability to walk.

On Sunday, V.I. Police arrested Akeel Shawn Owens, 21, in connection with the shooting of the injured teen near the Fort Mylner Shopping Center the same day, according to V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames.

Police arrested Owens hours after the early morning shooting and charged him with possession of an unlicensed firearm within 1,000 feet of a school; unlawful possession of ammunition; reckless endangerment; illegal discharge of a firearm; interfering with an officer during the discharge of his duties; and disturbing the peace.

Owens's bail was set at $25,000, and he was remanded to the custody of the V.I. Corrections Bureau.

Police initially responded to a report of a stabbing at the shopping center, where patrons from the Emporium Night Club had been hanging out in the parking lot, according to Rames.

Police said the stabbing victim, a 23-year-old man, was leaving the night club with his brother and was walking to his car when someone reached over his shoulder and stabbed him in the forearm while he tried to block the blade with his hand.

Before the victim was taken to Schneider Hospital for treatment, police interviewed him to gather information about the stabbing.

During the interview, police heard at least one shot of gunfire and went in the direction of the bridge near the shopping center, according to Rames.

One of the officers found the 19-year-old shooting victim, and thereafter heard at least three more shots.

The officer then saw a male standing near the KFC restaurant in Fort Mylner holding a firearm and firing it, according to Rames.

The officer called for backup and chased the suspect, who ran through the restaurant drive through and fired two more shots, Rames said.

The officer continued to pursue the suspect, along with another officer who joined the chase. They pursued the suspect along Weymouth Rhymer Highway, then to the nearby Banco Popular, where the suspect tried to change his outfit behind a parked car, according to Rames. However, while the suspect was changing, the officers caught up to him and arrested him, at which point they recovered a loaded firearm near the suspect, Rames said.

V.I. Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau detectives are investigating the case. People with information about either the stabbing or the shooting can call detectives at 714-9834, 715-5522 or 911 or the anonymous tip line, Crimes Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email

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