A 16-year-old resident of the Bovoni Housing Community has been taken into custody by police and charged with Thursday’s murder of 19-year-old Oshlyn Francis, Jr. of Jenny’s Hope.
It as the 51st homicide in the territory since the first of the year, the 28th on St. Thomas.
Police responded to a call of shots fired and a male bleeding in the area Thomasville at about 6:40 p.m. Thursday. Arriving on the scene with emergency medical technnicians, they found Francis, who had been shot at least one time. He had succumbed to his injuries.
Detectives assigned to Major Crimes, Forensic and the Criminal Investigations Bureau, along with the Virgin Islands Police Department Intelligence Unit and Officers assigned to Mariel C. Newton Command, converged on the scene. With the cooperation of the people who reside in Thomasville, and surveillance footage, Major Crimes Detectives were able to obtain an arrest and search warrant for a location in the Bovoni Housing Community. Based on the arrest warrant the minor was placed in protective custody and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, possession of an unlicensed firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, and reckless endangerment.
The minor was taken to the Family Division of the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands shortly after his detention to be advised of his rights. He was later transported to the Youth Rehabilitation Center on St. Croix.
Based on the search warrant, a number of items in the residence were seized, along with a .357 Magnum revolver and ammunition for that weapon. It is believed that this is the murder weapon, but a final determination will be made upon the conclusion of the forensic analysis of the weapon. This investigation is ongoing.
Assistant Police Commissioner Raymond L. Hyndman commended the officers for the quick arrest of the suspect.
“On behalf of Commissioner Novelle E. Francis Jr. and myself I commend the officers for their decisive action and quick arrest of this latest murder suspect. In fact, officers in both districts are to be commended for the outstanding work they are doing in clearing these murder cases. There have been 51 murders in 2010 in the territory and officers have made arrests in 67 percent of them; that is an excellent record.”
District Police Chief Rodney F. Querrard, Sr. thanked the residents of the Thomasville Community who came forward with information.
“I have to commend the residents of Thomasville who assisted us in this investigation. Without them it would have been difficult to make this quick apprehension and take another deadly firearm off of our streets. We, law enforcement, and you the community, working together, can and will make these United States Virgin Islands safer for our children, ourselves, and for the visitors that come to visit us daily. Again I applaud you for coming forward.”
Chief Querrard is asking for anyone with information on this homicide or any other to call Sergeant Diana Martinez, Supervisor of the Major Crime Unit, at 340-642-8449, 340-715-5544, 340-715-5545 or 340-715-5546 or the anonymous tp service, Crime Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-TIPS.