Police ID man killed by officer

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ST. THOMAS - V.I. Police identified the young man that a police officer shot and killed Saturday just outside of the Carnival Village on its opening night.

The victim was identified as Clyde Norford, 31, who died on the front steps of Fort Christian after an officer shot him at 12:21 a.m. Saturday.

Police have not disclosed the name of the officer who shot Norford.

"Our policy is not to release names of people involved unless they're arrested," said V.I. Police Department spokeswoman Melody Rames.

St. Thomas-St. John Police Chief Darren Foy said that the department's Major Crimes Unit and Internal Affairs and Applicant Screening Bureau would conduct an internal investigation.

Thus far, police have not released the details of the circumstances that led up to the shooting.

Officers received information that Norford was armed with a firearm, according to a prepared statement from V.I. Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard Sr., though he did not say when they received that information.

Querrard also reported that officers found a firearm on Norford, but he did not say whether Norford ever attempted to use it.

Witnesses said that they did not see or hear a conflict prior to the shooting. One person did say that Norford was seen with his hands away from his body just before he was shot.

Querrard responded to the incident immediately after the incident, stating that police are not concerned that the incident will affect the community's perception of law enforcement. Part of the role of police is to "react," which sometimes can entail the use of firearms, he said.

"We are finding it more common for individuals to be in possession of illegal firearms when they are confronted," Querrard said. "Officers are being challenged, as we have seen in recent weeks."

Querrard referred to several incidents just in the past week or two, including the arrest of five men in connection with the shooting and death of a man, as well as the non-fatal shooting of an off-duty police sergeant at a St. Croix nightclub. The officer was shot in the back and admitted to Luis Hospital.

Officers also reportedly were shot at while on-duty on St. Thomas, though Querrard offered no further details as to the incident.

"This will not deter law enforcement personnel from doing their jobs as they are trained to do." Querrard said. "We as a community must stand firm against this kind of disrespect for law abiding citizens and law enforcement officers."

Querrard made no comments as to the procedure of investigating the conduct of officers, particularly in the case of a shooting that leads to an injury or death.

Anyone with information about the shooting is advised to call the department's Major Crimes Unit at 642-8449, or the Internal Affairs Bureau at 774-2452.

Anyone also can call 911 or Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477, or text USVI plus the message to 274637.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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