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Saturday, December 3, 2022


Editor's note: Police on Oct. 31 identified the victim as Jonathan Almestica, 19.
Oct. 28, 2002 – Police have put a cap on information being released about the third fatal shooting in five days on St. Croix — Sunday night in the Campo Rico area.
Deputy Police Chief Angel Santos said, "I will confirm we had a shooting incident in Campo Rico near Frederiksted this evening," but added, "We are not releasing anything further until such time as we can look into some of the information we are receiving."
Shortly after 8 p.m. detectives were called out in response to reports that two persons had been shot and were en route to the Juan Luis Hospital. One victim, described as a Hispanic man but so far unidentified, died of his injuries. The second, also unidentified, is reportedly in stable condition after receiving a single gunshot wound to the leg.
Police reportedly found a number of spent ammunition casings at the scene of the shooting, indicating that several shots were fired. No weapons have been recovered and no suspects had been identified as of midnight Sunday.
Sunday's homicide followed the Friday night killing of taxi driver Emmanuel Lee in what appeared to be either an attempted car-jacking or robbery. Lee was shot after struggling with three men he picked up as fares in Frederiksted. While the community mourned the death of the popular and well-known taxi driver, police continued the investigation.
Santos said Sunday night, "We know that Mr. Lee picked up several individuals, not only those we suspect to be the perpetrators of the attack on his person. He dropped off people here and there. Subsequently in the vicinity of No. 4 Company St., these individuals apparently pulled weapons on Mr. Lee and in the process of trying to demand certain things from the taxi driver they discharged shots. One hit Mr. Lee in the armpit, causing his demise."
Santos said the incident occurred close to a popular Christiansted restaurant. He asked that anyone who witnessed anything in connection with the incident to call police.
Lee's death came two nights after Ricky Maxwell was fatally shot near the Paradise Mills housing community. And Maxwell's death followed by a week another killing in the same Paradise Mills area, of Julio Rivera.
Sunday night's fatal shooting is the fourth on St. Croix in the last week and a half.
It is the territory's 38th homicide of the year, the 20th on St. Croix.
As of Oct. 28, 2001, there had been 20 homicides recorded in the territory, 10 on St. Croix.

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