Shooting in Mon Bijou leaves 1 dead


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ST. CROIX - The life of a young man ended Tuesday night when he was shot dead in a hail of gunfire.

V.I. Police spokeswoman Melody Rames identified the man who was fatally shot in Estate Mon Bijou as 27-year-old Jesus "Yammy" Browne.

Emergency dispatchers received calls of shots fired and subsequently of a man down on Guavaberry Street in the mid-island housing community starting at 10:23 p.m. Tuesday. When they responded, they found the unresponsive body of a man - now identified as Browne - laying on the ground between a parked light-colored SUV and a red pick-up.

Blue and red emergency responder lights lit up the night sky as residents from around the community stood behind the police tape while detectives and forensics technicians busied themselves scouring the crime scene for evidence.

Among the items collected and placed into large paper bags were more than a dozen shell casings, which were scattered across the width of the street and concentrated in the grassy area just outside the fence line of one of the residences.

Rames said Browne was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at Luis Hospital shortly after he arrived.

Police are not releasing any additional information about the shooting and have not released information about a possible motive or any suspects in the case. Rames said detectives are piecing together the case, but highlighted the fact that when officers responded they did not find anyone in the area who had witnessed the shooting.

Early Wednesday morning, detectives returned to the neighborhood and continued looking for evidence, canvassing the area hoping to find residents who may have seen or heard something.

Browne had a long criminal history, including arrests on a number of violent crimes and was released from Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility just six weeks ago, after murder and an assault charges against him were dismissed.

Browne was at Golden Grove awaiting a retrial on charges - along with Hillman Faucher - of first-degree felony murder; first-degree assault; unauthorized possession of a firearm; reckless endangerment; possession of ammunition; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence in connection with the Jan. 6, 2010, murder of their friend Shamir James outside a Christiansted bar. Police said the group went to the bar to carry out an assault, and during the gunfire, James was killed.

The first murder trial in 2012 ended in a deadlocked jury. Browne's attorney subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, saying that the prosecution had not presented evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

That motion was granted by V.I. Superior Court Presiding Judge Darryl Donohue Sr.

Browne also had been involved in a scuffle inside the jail with another prisoner in 2010, and reports from prison officials indicated that each inmate stabbed the other with homemade shanks. The disposition of that case was unclear.

Browne remained jailed even with those two cases cleared; however, until May, when the V.I. Attorney General's Office filed a motion to dismiss another assault case, stemming from a stabbing in the prison, after the inmate who was stabbed submitted a letter to the court recanting his accusations against Browne and has since been moved to an off-island facility, according to court documents.

Rames said Browne's murder is under investigation.

Browne's murder was the territory's 22nd homicide - including two vehicular homicides - this year, with 10 on St. Thomas, 11 on St. Croix and one on St. John.

Anyone with information can call Criminal Investigation Bureau detectives at 712-6031, 712-6024 or 911 or call the anonymous tip line at Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477.

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

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