A shootout at the Contant Car Wash on Sunday night landed V.I. Police Officer Lennox Lettsome in the Roy L. Schneider Hospital with a gunshot wound to the neck and back.
Lettsome and another off-duty officer, Derick Greaves, were at the car wash around midnight having their personal vehicles washed, according to published reports, when two masked gunmen got out of a Mazda that had been cruising the area and accosted them, demanding money.
The officers drew their weapons and began firing, igniting what the Daily News described as a "real gun battle."
Lettsome's wound was dangerously close to arteries, veins and his spine, according to Deputy Chief of Police Theodore Carty, but though he remained in critical condition Monday, he is expected to recover.
The officers were in plain clothes and Carty said the robbers probably didn't know they were police officers.
After the shooting the two gunmen left the scene on foot. A third man drove off in the Mazda.
Carty said a shooting earlier in the evening in Sototown that wounded Jose Nunez Abreu may have been related.
In response to this and other recent shootings, Police Commissioner Franz A. Christian Sr. has called a press conference for 10 a.m. Thursday to "discuss [the] recent increase in shootings, including police-involved incidents."
In the meantime, anyone with information about the shootings Sunday is asked to call the crime line at 774-4050 or emergency 911.