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Armed Robbers Attack And Kill C’sted Jewelry Store Owner They Followed Home

CHRISTIANSTED — Police said a St. Croix jewelry store owner was ambushed by armed robbers near the entrance to a Mount Welcome apartment complex early Friday evening.

Kailash Banani, 49, was apparently followed by gunmen after he left Panache Jewelers on King Street, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“My sincere condolences to the family of Kailash Bananai,” St. Croix Senator-Elect Allison Lisa DeGazon said. “This saddens me as I have known him for years. He was very supportive while I ran for the Senate. I know him to be kind, humble and proud to be in the Virgin Islands. May his family remain strong during this time.”

Panache Jewelers on King Street.

Banani’s vehicle was bumped by the would-be robbers from behind and when he got out of his car to inspect the damage more than one man demanded money from him, according to the VIPD.

Police found Banani shot multiple times near Mahogany Welcome about 6:23 p.m. on Friday.

VIPD spokesman Glen Dratte would not say if the robbers were successful in getting money from Banani.

“Medical attendants on the scene were unable to find any vital signs on the victim,” Dratte said.

Banani’s body was taken to the Juan F. Luis Hospital morgue by morgue attendants, the VIPD said.

Banani leaves behind a wife and two young children.

Kailash Banani and his family.

A reader of the Virgin Islands Free Press wrote in and said the VIPD spelled the dead man’s name wrong.

The VIPD spelled the victim’s name “Kilash Danani.” Our reader spelled his name Kailash Banani.

This is the second homicide of 2019 in the territory. Joseph Brow was shot to death at the Coconut Bar in Mount Pleasant on January 1.

There was 45 homicides in the territory last year; with 31 on St. Croix and 14 in St. Thomas.

Police said the shooting death is under active investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

An international news report in The Times of India said that Banani emigrated to St. Croix from Vadodara in western India about 25 years ago.

Police are asking anyone was saw anything to call them at 340-778 2211, or Crimestoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477 or 911

The crime scene in Mount Welcome on Friday night.
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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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