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First Tutu Mall Shooting Victim Dies From Injuries

The 17-year-old arrested Tuesday after a midday shooting at the Tutu Park Mall parking lot may now face murder charges as an adult after one of the two injured victims died Tuesday night at the Roy Schneider Hospital, police say.
The victim, 23-year-old Joseph Ferrari of St. Thomas, suffered a gunshot wound to the head in the shooting that took place shortly before noon Tuesday. The hospital removed him from life support at about 10 p.m., and he was declared dead.
The second victim is in stable condition following surgery for a gunshot wound to the leg.
The V.I. Police Department is preparing to petition the Superior Court to have the suspect bound over to face charges as an adult, the police said in a news release.
According to St. Thomas/St. John Police Chief Rodney Querrard, investigators are not yet ready to say if Ferrari was the intended victim of the attack or an innocent bystander, someone who paid with his life for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The suspect was arrested at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday and charged at the time with first-degree assault. Because he is legally a minor, his name has not been released. Charges were to be upgraded to first-degree murder.
Police Commissioner Novelle Francis said the department cannot speculate as to whether the shooting was in retaliation for a previous incident. Initial appearances, however, suggest that this was not a random shooting, he said.
In a prepared statement, Gov. John P. de Jongh, Jr. decried a situation in which “our young people are exacting street justice once they find themselves at odds with each other.” He said the territory will continue to implement saturated patrols and other tactics that seem to have been having some effect. Ferrari’s death was the 39th homicide in the territory since the first of the year, but only the second in more than a month.
“Our dual objectives continue to be, on a daily basis, to carry out those anti-crime initiatives that have netted favorable results such as: saturated patrols in high-crime areas of the two districts; roadblocks and aggressive enforcement against those who are determined to carry out street justice; and investment in our children and our young people about the dangers of gangs and criminal activity,” the governor said.
“There is no ignoring the aggressive stance for these present acts that we are taking to ensure that those who commit a crime are captured and prosecuted and that investing in the family circle and paying attention to our children will go a long way to strengthening our community.”
Anyone with information on this incident can contact the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 715-5516 or 714-9834. Tips can also be called in to the anonymous tip service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.

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