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25-Year-Old Man Shot To Death Near UVI Campus

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Police on St. Thomas are investigating the fatal shooting death of a 25-year-old man that occurred at 12:24 p.m. Wednesday, in the area of Brewer’s Bay near the University of the Virgin Islands.

A preliminary police investigation has revealed that Dennard Lawrence was the person who was shot to death, police said. Lawrence was reported to be Dead On Arrival (DOA) at the time authorities arrived on the scene, according to the VIPD.

Witnesses told police that the young man had just disembarked from a safari bus and began to walk up a hill in Brewer’s Bay on his way towards the beach when the sound of multiple gunshots rang out.

Lawrence sustained multiple gunshots and succumbed to his wounds on the scene, according to police.

The University of the Virgin Islands offered its condolences to the friends and family Lawrence who was found unresponsive near its St. Thomas campus in a statement released to the press.
The homicide occurred at approximately 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday on the sidewalk along the Julian Jackson Highway in the area of the Administration and Conference Center (ACC), the UVI said in the statement. UVI said Lawrence was not a current UVI student or employee.

UVI Security and the V.I. Police Department (VIPD) were dispatched to the scene and found a young male who sustained several gunshot wounds, the university said.

Other law enforcement officers, including officers from the V.I. Port Authority also responded to the incident.

Vehicular access to roadways were restricted in the areas adjacent to the ACC building, John Brewers Bay and the Reichhold Center for the Arts. The UVI community was advised to avoid the area. An all clear was signaled at approximately 2:19 p.m.

“The University of the Virgin Islands is saddened to learn of the sudden and violent passing of a young man from our community,” said UVI President David Hall. “We offer our condolences to the family and friends during this difficult time.”

UVI takes the safety of the community seriously and will use all resources available to ensure a safe environment, Hall said.

An on-going investigation into the incident is being conducted by the VIPD. The university said it will continue to cooperate with the VIPD.

The University community and the general public are encouraged to contact the Police Department if they have any information concerning the incident.

Please contact VIPD Detective Sofia Rachid at (340) 714-9807 or VIPD Detective Dwight Griffith at (340) 626-9164 to anonymously provide information.

All UVI students and employees are encouraged to sign up for UVI’s Rave emergency notification system, which is used to share critical information via text messages and e-mail.

Participants simply add their cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses to the “Personal Information” page in UVI’s BanWeb accounts. Additional instructions on signing up for Rave are available from this direct link.

The shooting death is under investigation by detectives with the Criminal Investigation Bureau, police 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 40 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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