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VIPD: Two Shots Fired In Kidnapping Of Parking Lot Owner In St. John Saturday

CRUZ BAY — A parking lot owner on St. John told police he was kidnapped at gunpoint and forced back into his Enighed residence early Saturday morning. Two shots were fired, but police said no one was injured.

Bernard Wesselhoft of Enighed, the owner of Slim Man’s Parking Lot, said he had just parked his car across the street from his residence when a man dressed all in black approached him from behind and hit him on the back of his head with a gun about 1:15 a.m. Saturday, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“Wesselhoft expressed to officers that the suspect instructed him not to look back,” VIPD spokesman Karl Caesar said. “The perpetrator forced Wesselhoft by gunpoint to the front door of his residence and ordered him to open the door.”

During this exchange at #20 Enighed, Wesselhoft was able to get separation from the suspect by pushing the man and was able to enter the residence and lock the door.

“Soon after Wesselhoft told officers that two gunshots were fired,” Caesar said.

Police on the scene were able to recover a spent shell casing along with one round of ammunition.

Officers secured the scene and notified the VIPD’s Forensic Unit for further processing of it.

No one was injured during the incident. Police continued to canvass the area in search of the suspect and any potential weapons.

This matter is currently under active investigation.

Anyone having any information about this or any other crime please contact the Virgin Islands Police Department at (340) 774-2211, Major Crime Unit at (340) 714-9830 or the Criminal Investigation Bureau (340) 714-9807. You can also contact the anonymous tip line Crimestoppers USVI at 1 (800) 222-8477 or 911.

“We need your help and the entire community’s involvement,” Caesar said.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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