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NO LEADS REPORTED IN SALEM SHOOTING DEATH

May 23, 2001 – Police officials on St. Thomas reported no new developments as of late Wednesday afternoon in their investigation into the day-earlier shooting death of Hakeem Salem in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
Salem, 27, was shot fatally Tuesday afternoon as he sat in his white Pontiac Trans Am car stopped on Garden Street, also known as Commandant Gade.
Police had not commented by the end of Wednesday on whether the shooting of another man at about the same time was related. The second victim, identified only as "Crucian," was in Roy L. Schneider Hospital after having undergone emergency chest surgery.
An individual in a residence overlooking town, who asked not to be identified, told the Source of having heard "four to five shots, clearly from down the hill, at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday." According to this person, "The sound of sirens soon followed."
Dr. Francisco Landron, medical examiner, said an autopsy performed on Salem's body revealed little new information. The bullet wound to the front of the head was the cause of death, he said, and the same bullet also caused injury to the victim's right hand.
Meanwhile, according to Turnbull administration sources, there is talk within Government House and the Police and Justice Departments of creating a task force to deal with the number of unsolved murders in the territory. Government House spokesman James O'Bryan said Wednesday that "Something is in the works toward that end." He said he expected to have details on the strategy later.
The Justice Department's Special Investigative Unit already is in the process of developing its own "cold case" task force. Attorney General Iver Stridiron said Wednesday that it will focus on unsolved murder cases that have sat dormant for some time. The unit, under the direction of Special Investigator Billy Curtis, will deal with the cases one by one, Stridiron said, in an effort to "bring these cases to some closure as quickly as possible."
Police authorities asked that anyone with information concerning Salem's death or any other unsolved murder call Major Crime Unit detectives at 715-5546 or the police emergency number, 911.
For details in an earlier account of the shooting, see "Another murder rocks Garden Street".

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