Police ID man shot to death in Estate Tutu

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ST. THOMAS - V.I. Police identified the territory's most recent murder victim as 19-year-old Sheldon Benjamin Jr.

Police believe Benjamin was driving in the area of Monster Hill in Estate Tutu on St. Thomas about noon Sunday when an unknown number of assailants fired on his vehicle.

Benjamin tried to escape the gunfire by getting out of the vehicle but was shot several times and collapsed in the road, according to V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames.

When police arrived on the scene, they saw a white Toyota Corolla in the road with the engine still running. The vehicle's rear glass was shattered, and there was evidence of gunshot damage to the body of the vehicle.

Benjamin was spotted just a few feet away from the vehicle, police reported, and emergency responders on the scene said they could not detect any vital signs when they arrived at the site.

Emergency responders transported Benjamin to Schneider Hospital, where Benjamin was pronounced dead by medical staff, police said.

Benjamin's death is the 25th homicide in the territory this year, including two vehicular homicides and two shootings by police. There have been 13 homicides on St. Thomas, 11 on St. Croix and one on St. John this year.

Major Crime detectives are investigating the case. Anyone with information can call the department's Major Crimes Unit at 642-8449, call 911 or anonymously contact CrimeStoppers USVI by calling 1-800-222-8477. Information also can be sent to CrimeStoppers by texting "USVI" plus the message to 274637.

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

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