Gun Violence Escalates in St. Thomas, Leaders Vow to Solve Deadly Crimes

VIPD is investigating yet another deadly shooting in St. Thomas. The latest incident has left one man dead and two others injured.

It happened in broad daylight Thursday afternoon at around 3:15, in the area of the Bovoni Housing Community.

Officers arrived to learn two men had been shot and were transported by private vehicle to the hospital, while emergency crews rushed a third victim at the scene to the hospital by ambulance.

That victim, identified as Bertstrand Gilkes Jr., 26, died from his injuries, the other two men were reported to be in stable condition.

This is just the latest string of deadly violence in St. Thomas, in just over a weeks time, five men have been shot and killed by gunfire.

Several others have been wounded.

On Friday, Governor Albert Bryan said VIPD detectives and patrol officers are working hard to solve these violent crimes, “It is really unfortunate, when we are fighting a disease worldwide that is killing thousands of people, and here in the Virgin Islands, and other places throughout the nation, we find time to kill ourselves, to kill our neighbors, our bothers and sisters. It’s a spate of violent crime on the island of St. Thomas and it comes at a time when we as a community, we just need to work together to fight against our common enemy. It is a really sad and disappointing thing to have to stop what you’re doing to come to deal with things like people shooting one another. And from some of the reports that I’m getting, shooting one another for little or nothing at the end of the day. Wasting lives, not only from those people who died, but from those people who committed these acts of violence, because we will catch you.”

If you have any information which may help police solve any of the recent murders, you’re asked to call VIPD at 340-774-2211 or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-TIPS.
Crime Stoppers is offering cash rewards for any information which leads to an arrest.

In addition to violent crime, the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs is reporting an increase in scam artists, finding creative ways to scam you out of your money.

Leaders there say to ignore text messages saying you’ve come in contact with someone with COVID-19, and also emails soliciting money for the Virgin Islands to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

They’re also keeping an eye on COVID-19 price gouging. To report price gouging in the territory, call (340) 727-SCAM in St. Croix, and (340) 771-SCAM in St. Thomas or St. John.