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2 SHOT IN SCUFFLE WITH POLICE OFFICER

Sept. 1, 2003 – Two men were shot — leaving one in critical condition — and a third man escaped after tangling with an off-duty police officer who was moonlighting as a security guard at Kmart in Tutu Park Mall.
According to a release from the Police Department, as the three men were being escorted off the Kmart property about 6 p.m. Friday after creating a disturbance in the store, one of the men attacked the officer with a broken beer bottle.
As the first man continued his attack with the broken bottle, "another male from the group joined in the attack," the release said.
As the officer was "moving backward to protect himself, the third male begin to approach him," according to the release.
At that point, the release stated, the unnamed officer pulled his weapon and warned the attackers to stop. When they didn't "he fired several shots to protect himself from further injury," striking two of the men in their lower bodies. The uninjured man escaped before an ambulance arrived to transport the officer and the two wounded men to Roy L. Schneider Hospital.
Kerwim Williams, 27, of Nadir Hill was treated for leg wounds and placed under arrest; unable to post $75,000 bail, he was being held at the St. Thomas Corrections Bureau facility.
Romiah Remey, also of Nadir Hill, was hospitalized in critical condition, having been shot in the abdomen, groin and legs.
The police officer suffered lacerations to his face, head and arm. Under the collective bargaining agreement in effect, police officials would not identify him.
The police spokesman, Sgt. Thomas Hannah, said on Monday that the officer came close to losing his left eye.
Police Commissioner Elton Lewis said he wants the public to know that "the most important thing to do is comply with the instructions of police officers."
The officers are "important" and "valuable to the safety and projection of the people of the Virgin Islands," he said, "and when you attack and try to harm them, we lose."
When asked whether the officer was carrying a weapon in his position as security guard at Kmart, Hannah said: "Police officers are required to be armed 24 hours a day."
"The police are there to help you, not harm you," Lewis said, "Please give them respect for doing a job that the average person would not want to do."
He added in the release that anyone who feels "that any police officer has treated you unfairly" should notify the department's Internal Affairs Bureau.
Lewis also asked that witnesses to the incident outside Kmart call the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 715-5522, the Major Crime Unit at 715-5546, 911 "or anyone you may feel comfortable talking with in the department."

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