Man killed in daytime shooting as he drove along Queen Mary Highway


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ST. CROIX - The territory tallied its 26th homicide Monday afternoon when an Estate Grove Place man was shot to death on Queen Mary Highway in Lower Love.

V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames said initial reports from witnesses indicate the shooting happened about 3:20 p.m., when a man standing outside the Lower Love Service Station opened fire on a multicolored Honda Civic, that was primarily green, as it travelled west on Queen Mary Highway.

She said gunfire struck the male driver, who lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a wall, near the entrance to the V.I. Agriculture Department grounds a few yards away.

A second vehicle - a green Ford truck that was not targeted in the shooting incident - also crashed into the concrete entrance alongside the Honda Civic after its driver also lost control, Rames said. That driver was taken to Luis Hospital for treatment for injuries sustained in the crash, she said.

Police did not release the identity of the dead man by press time Monday, but friends identified him as Eddie Harriette, 20, a graduate of the St. Croix Educational Complex Class of 2012 and a bagger at Plaza Extra.

St. Croix Police Chief James Parris further confirmed that a passenger in Harriette's vehicle was a 17-year-old girl, who was reported missing on St. Croix earlier this month. Parris said the girl sustained at least one gunshot wound and was taken to Luis Hospital for treatment.

The crime scene being investigated by traffic and criminal investigators Monday afternoon spanned about 50 yards east and west of the Agriculture station.

Yellow police crime scene tape stretched across the roadway, as a dozen or so residents peered down into the crime scene, talking about the crash, how it may have happened and the brazen nature of the gunman to carry out the shooting in the afternoon.

The Honda and the Ford both had significant damage to their front ends and had to be removed from the scene by flat-bed tow trucks.

Traffic flow along that section of the roadway was interrupted for about two hours as a marked police vehicle and officer diverted westbound traffic where Upper Love Road intersects with Golden Grove Road, and eastbound traffic was diverted at the traffic light on Paradise Road.

There have been 26 homicides reported in the territory this year. In 2014, St. Croix has had a total of 12 homicides, including two vehicular homicides, while there have been 13 homicides on St. Thomas and one on St. John.

Parris said Monday's shooting is being investigated and anyone who may have witnessed the incident or may have information about who may have carried out the crime can call police at 911 or call the anonymous tip line at Crime Stopper USVI at 1-800-222-8477.

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

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