Man injured in second VIPD shooting on St. Thomas in less than a month


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The V.I. Police Department released a statement Monday night saying police shot a man almost two weeks earlier in the Kirwan Terrace housing community on St. Thomas.

The release said that Major Crimes detectives are investigating the shooting, which wounded a 23-year-old man.

According to the release, police fired shots in the housing community on a Tuesday afternoon as they were chasing some men. The release says the shooting occurred at approximately 5:40 p.m. on May 20. Kirwan Terrace sits adjacent to Gladys Abraham Elementary School.

The release says that a "preliminary" investigation into the shooting revealed that officers "were making an inspection of the housing community when they began chasing several males. During the chase, police discharged shots which struck the victim. Police confiscated two firearms from the immediate area."

It does not say why police chased the men, why police fired shots, how many officers fired guns, whether anyone else besides police did any shooting, whether the wounded man was a bystander or someone who was being chased, what the man was doing when police shot him, or whether he was armed.

It also does not say where the man's wounds were, or provide any information on the officer or officers involved.

Nor does it say why it took police almost two weeks to tell the public about the officer-involved shooting.

The blotter, a public record of calls and incidents reported to the 911 emergency dispatchers, does not show any incidents reported on May 20 at Kirwan Terrace.

A Daily News message to St. Thomas Police Chief Darren Foy Monday night was not returned.

The Police Department release does say the wounded man was taken to Schneider Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for several gunshot wounds.

The V.I. Police Department has been operating under a consent decree for the past five years, after a U.S. Justice Department investigation found that the V.I. Police Department had a pattern and practice of violating residents' civil rights by using excessive force - including deadly force - and then tolerating that conduct by failing to adequately train, supervise, investigate and discipline its officers and by failing to establish consistent policies, procedures and practices to appropriately guide and monitor their actions.

The U.S. Justice Department brought a civil lawsuit against the territory in connection with that investigation. The consent decree - which contains a multitude of mandates designed to remedy the problems found during the investigation - settles the lawsuit. However, five years later, although police have made progress, they still have not fully implemented the mandated reforms.

The May 20 officer-involved shooting was the second for the Police Department on St. Thomas in less than a month.

On April 26, police shot Clyde Norford, 31, on the front steps of Fort Christian at 12:21 a.m. Norford died at the scene. That shooting occurred just outside Carnival Village on opening night.

The Monday release says that Major Crime detectives are actively investigating the Kirwan Terrace case.

It asks people with information to contact police by calling the Major Crimes Unit at 642-8449, Internal Affairs Bureau at 774-2452, Emergency 911, or Crime Stoppers USVI anonymous tip line at 1-800-222-8477.

- Contact reporter Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email jblackburn@dailynews.vi.

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