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Shooting Victim Dies

May 8, 2005 – St. Croix police upgraded their investigation of a robbery and shooting to that of murder this weekend when the victim of a Thursday armed robbery died of multiple gunshot wounds. Police said that Winston "Reds" Francis, 67, died of complications from his injuries. Territorial Police Chief Novelle Francis Jr. expressed optimism that the two masked gunmen will be brought to justice.
"We have received several calls from the community about the Thursday afternoon incident and I am optimistic that the suspects will be caught," Francis said.
The victim underwent emergency surgery and on Friday was listed in stable but serious condition. "But he apparently took a turn for the worse overnight Friday," Francis said.
The robbery and shooting went down around 1p.m. Thursday as the victim walked to his vehicle across the parking lot of Scotiabank in Sunny Isle Shopping Center. Francis was making a withdrawal to cover cash checks for both government and private sector employees. The victim owns and operates a check cashing business in Estate Profit. Francis was shot after the two armed robbers snatched a bag containing an undetermined amount of money. The suspects fled the scene of the shooting in a white sedan. The vehicle was later found abandoned between Strawberry ridge and Bonne Esperance, according to Chief Francis.
And near the car, police found evidentiary items including: bulletproof vests, a two-way radio, and a black shirt.
Police described the suspects as having a light complexion and wearing masks
at the time of robbery.
Anyone with information can call authorities at 778-2211, 778-4950 or
emergency 911.

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