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Friday, April 19, 2024


Feb. 5, 2004 – Five weeks into retirement after 20 years on the job in the V.I. prison system, former Corrections Bureau officer Raymond Jackson was fatally shot Wednesday night on St. Croix by a gunman who silently appeared from behind a building and opened fire.
A 17-year-old youth standing near the victim was wounded in the gunfire.
St. Croix Deputy Police Chief Herminio Velazquez said the shooting of Jackson, 50, took place shortly before 10 p.m. outside the Tiger Mini Mart in Estate Ruby near Island Center for the Performing Arts.
"The owner of the mini-mart was inside the store closing up," Velazquez said on Thursday. "Four people were outside the store." The four, he said, were Jackson, the store owner's brother, the teen-ager and another man.
"The assailant suddenly appeared on foot … firing a weapon," Velazquez said.
Witnesses told police the gunman said nothing as he opened fire.
Jackson was hit in the chest and upper arm. Bullets also struck the door, door frame and roof of his Ford 150 pickup.
The youth was wounded in the hip. Police did not release his identity and could provide no information about his condition on Thursday.
Jackson was pronounced dead at the Juan F. Luis Hospital emergency room.
Witnesses said the assailant fled the scene on foot. Police believe he may made his getaway in a waiting vehicle.
On Jan. 25, a current Corrections Bureau supervisor was wounded when bullets flew through the windshield of her vehicle as she was driving home from work. Authorities said at the time there had earlier been a confrontation between a motorcyclist and an occupant of a car similar to the officer's, and the she may have been a victim of mistaken identity. That same night, police said, a motorcyclist with multiple gunshot wounds was transported from the hospital to Puerto Rico for treatment.
Attorney General Iver Stridiron said an apparent increase in gunplay on St. Croix has prompted him and Police Commissioner Elton Lewis to ask Gov. Charles W. Turnbull for more latitude in addressing the problem. Stridiron said it is time to be more aggressive in getting guns off the street.
The killing is the second on St. Croix and the fourth in the territory this year.

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