Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter, acting as governor while Gov. Kenneth Mapp is out of the territory, has issued an order terminating the state of emergency he declared Saturday in the wake of multiple serious shootings Sep. 4 that police believe are connected. All sworn peace officers, such as enforcement officers in various government agencies, were deputized to carry out general law enforcement duties.
First there was a fatal shooting in Whim on the morning of Sept. 4. According to the police reports, a man and woman had gone to the Georges Christian Academy Daycare Center to retrieve their young child. While the woman went into the facility and the man sat outside in their vehicle, a male suspect drove up to the vehicle and shot the male victim with a high-powered weapon, then fled the scene, leaving the victim lifeless in the SUV.
Then officers responding to a 911 call around 5 p.m. on Sept 4, reporting the discharge of a firearm in Estate St. George, intercepted a vehicle on West Airport Road, transporting an injured man to the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center for treatment of gunshot wounds to the foot and shoulder. The victim of the incident did not provide police with a description of the suspect who had shot him.
Then it got worse, with 18 solid minutes of gunfire in the area of D. Hamilton Jackson Terrace in Christiansted. Former St. Croix Sen. Holland Redfield, who witnessed the shooting, said mothers were running out to grab their children, as three vehicles sprayed the area with gunfire and people inside the buildings returned fire.
Four individuals with non-life threatening wounds sustained in the shooting were transported to Luis Hospital by ambulance.
When declaring the state of emergency, Potter said about 100 shots were fired in the incident.
The shooting spree led to the cancelation of a planned Warm-Up J’ouvert that had been slated for Saturday morning in Christiansted.
In a statement Thursday, Potter said he was lifting the state of emergency because the immediate situation has settled.