About 12 hours after police were notified of a fatal shooting on St. John, 23-year-old Ralph Titre was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of 31-year-old Tiny Jah Jarvis.
The shooting, the first homicide on St. John since January 2009, brought a shocked response from members of the St. John community.
Police were notified of the killing at about 10:30 p.m. Friday. Jarvis' body was found at around 10:30 p.m. in Bellvue affordable housing community on Gifft Hill Road. His vehicle was found nearby.
“When the police got there, they found his body,” police spokeswoman Melody Rames said.
Jarvis had multiple gunshot wounds to his body and emergency medical technicians at the scene could find no signs of life, according to the report.
Based on information obtained during the initial investigation police attempted to contact Titre immediately following the shooting but were unable to locate him. Titre later contacted a detective from the Criminal Investigation Bureau and surrendered to police at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Titre was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, possession of a firearms during the commission of a crime of violence, and reckless endangerment.
During the investigation, police confiscated a firearm which will be tested to determine if it was used in this shooting.
Bail for Titre was set at $500,000. Unable to post bail, Titre was remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections pending his Advice of Rights hearing.
Police initially misidentified the victim, based on a misprint on his drivers' license. Detectives later confirmed his name through several sources as Tiny Jah Jarvis, age 31, of Grunwald.
Violent crime on St. John hasn’t reached anywhere near the levels it has on St. Thomas and St. Croix, and this incident was the first in a long time. According to the Source's records, the last homicide on St. John was in January 2009.
“I can’t believe it,” Miya Powell said when she learned about the shooting.
St. John Administrator Leona Smith said that people need to stop taking matters into their own hands and call police when there’s an issue.
Smith also said she doubts this shooting was related to gang violence because she hasn’t heard lately of any gangs on St. John.
After wondering where the guns were coming from, Lorelei Monsanto said young adults seem to have lost their “sensibilities” when it comes to human life. She suggested that they might be watching too much television or playing too many computer games.
“Put on the boxing gloves or fight with your fists,” Monsanto suggested.
Anyone with information on this case can call police on St. John at 693-8880 or the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-8477.