CHAOS REIGNS AT FESTIVAL! Crucian Christmas Village Ends With A BANG! One Man Dead and Two Children Critically Injured In Two Shootings
FREDERIKSTED — One person was killed and two children were injured in separate incidents here, causing the closing of the Crucian Christmas Festival early.
One man was arrested and charged with the murder of 31-year-old Curtis Phipps of St. Croix after an argument at the Children’s Festival Village escalated from a simple argument to a fight.
Angel Parilla, 21, of the Walter I.M. Hodge Pavilion was arrested by police at home soon after the incident that took place about 10 p.m. on Saturday. Police Commissioner Delroy Richards Sr. said that Phipps was shot with a chrome-plated revolver.
One eyewitness said a uniformed female Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) officer witnessed the execution-style killing of Phipps; but fled the scene, ducking for cover when the shots rang out — rather than firing on the suspect.
About an hour after Phipps’ shooting, the VIPD went to a shooting scene at Ludvig E. Harrigan Court in Estate Mars Hill.
Police on the scene found a vehicle that had been sprayed with an AK-47 assault weapon, according to Richards.
An adult driving a vehicle with two minor children, aged four and five years old respectively escaped injury, but the children inside the car were hit in the upper extremities, authorities said.
One of the injured children was airlifted to a Florida hospital for treatment on Sunday.
Police said that the second shooting on Saturday night was retaliation for Phipps’ murder.
Phipps’ murder is the first for the Virgin Islands this year; last year the territory notched 51 homicides.
Florida has one of the highest murder rates on the U.S. mainland and averages nine killings per year.
The Virgin Islands traditionally has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world.
ARRESTED: Angel Parrilla Jr. of St. Croix