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VIPD: St. Croix’s Gregory Barnes Shot To Death After Arguing With Senior Citizen Near Watergut Shanty

CHRISTIANSTED — Police say a senior citizen is in custody today after fatally shooting a St. Croix man to death near the Watergut Shanty on Saturday night.

Elwood Canton Jr., 62, was arrested at about 3:41 a.m. on Sunday and charged with second-degree murder after a police investigation revealed that he was the person who killed 36-year-old Gregory Barnes in downtown Christiansted Saturday night, the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) said.

When police arrested Canton in the early morning hours he was trying to hide under a vehicle where he lived, according to VIPD spokesman Glen Dratte, adding that illegal gun possession charges could be added to the charges against the accused man as he was not legally registered to use the gun used in the murder.

Police said that Barnes and Canton argued just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, but when Barnes pushed Canton in the chest, Canton pulled out a gun and shot Barnes multiple times, causing his death, the VIPD said.

“Mr. Canton attempted to leave the area however Mr. Barnes persisted and physically pushed Mr. Canton in the chest — chucked him — who then shot and killed Gregory Barnes,” VIPD spokesman Glen Dratte said.

Readers of the Virgin Islands Free Press on Facebook said that the incident took place closer to Bentick’s Liquor Store on Company Street in Christiansted.

Unable to post bail of $500,000, Canton was remanded to the Golden Grove Detention Center pending an advice of rights hearing.

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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