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Witnesses Of Fatal Shooting At St. Croix Housing Project Bravely Subdue Suspect Until Police Arrive

FREDERIKSTED — A 32-year-old St. Croix man died after being shot by an assassin at close range near the West End housing project where he lived, authorities said.

Jurmanie Ajanie Kaieem Forde, 19, of St. Croix Mutual Homes is being detained by police as a possible suspect in the fatal shooting, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

Police were alerted to the scene by a 911 Emergency Call Center report about 11:35 a.m. Friday that there was a “shooting victim down” at Candido Guadalupe Terrace in Estate Slob at mid-island St. Croix.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Angel Ayala of St. Croix down on ground “wounded” and Forde being held by “concerned citizens” after witnessing the shooting, according to the VIPD.

“Officers detained the individual and transported him to Wilbur Francis Command pending a complete investigation,” VIPD spokesman Glen Dratte said.

Ayala was taken to the Juan F. Luis Hospital by ambulance where he “succumbed to his injuries,” according to police.

Once he was dead, he was positively identified by next of kin as being the shooter’s victim.

“Investigation disclosed that the shooter walked up on the victim and several others and demanded that he gave him everything he had at gunpoint and fired one shot mortally wounding the victim,” Dratte said.

Forde is charged with first-degree murder and charges related to the alleged armed robbery before the shooting, according to the VIPD.

Candido Guadalupe Terrace is managed by the Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA) under the management of executive director Robert Graham.

Candido Guadalupe Terrace in Estate Slob, St. Croix.

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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