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Pre-4th Of July Arrests For 2 Brothers Accused In Back Shooting Of Female Bystander At Project

FREDERIKSTED — Two St. Croix brothers were arrested in a 24-hour period and charged in connection to the shooting of an innocent female bystander at Walter I.M. Hodge Pavilion on Wednesday, authorities said. The unidentified woman survived the shooting.

Rahkeem S. Swanston, 20, of Estate Whim was arrested at 10:15 a.m. Thursday and charged with third-degree assault, reckless endangerment, carrying a firearm openly or concealed, aiming and discharging a firearm, and possession of ammunition, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

VIPD mugshot of Zomari K. Swanston, 30, of Estate Whim.

On Friday, Rahkeem’s brother, Zomari K. Swanston, 30, of Estate Whim was arrested at 10:15 a.m. on charges of third-degree assault, reckless endangerment, carrying a firearm openly or concealed, aiming and discharging a firearm, and possession of ammunition, according to the VIPD.

“The Swanston brothers were identified as shooters in an incident which resulted in a woman being shot at the Walter I.M. Hodge Pavilion housing community on July 1,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said today.

The unidentified female was shot in the back after the two Swanston brothers allegedly tried to shoot 22-year-old Jahamon Bruce on Wednesday morning. Bruce was was lured to the parking lot of Walter I.M. Hodge Pavilion by the two brothers after they allegedly damaged Bruce’s vehicle.

Bail for Rahkeem Swanston was set at $75,000; while bail for Zomari Swanston was set at $25,000.

Neither man was able to post bail. They were remanded to the custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections pending advice-of-rights hearings.

Walter I.M. Hodge Pavilion is located in Estate Smithfield. It is managed by the Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA).

The VIHA is run by executive director Robert Graham.

VIHA Executive Director Robert Graham

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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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