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Woman Tells 911 Operator She Hears Former Star Basketball Player Being Attacked, Then Shot To Death

FREDERIKSTED — A woman was on the phone with a 911 operator telling her that a former star basketball player was under attack — when suddenly she heard sounds like he was being shot to death on Thursday morning, authorities said.

Jonathan Adrian Fontenelle, 28, of Grove Place was positively identified by next of kin as the shooting victim, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

The 911 Emergency Call Center received a report of shots being fired at the Louis E. Brown Villas at 7:48 a.m. Thursday, according to the VIPD.

“The witness told the 911 dispatcher that she was on the phone with the victim when she heard gunshot sounds through the phone,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said. “The victim then stated that he was being attacked.”

Jonathan Fontenelle relaxing with his daughter. (Facebook photo.)

Officers traveled to the scene and found Fontenelle with gunshot wounds, Derima said.

Fontenelle was taken by ambulance to the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center (JFL) where he later succumbed to his injuries, he said.

He was a former star guard for the U.S. Virgin Islands’ men’s basketball team who played in international competition for the territory in 2008-2009.

In the 2009 season, Fontenelle averaged 5.2 points per game, one rebound and 0.5 assists per game in Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA) championship play.

Meanwhile, people in the U.S. Virgin Islands expressed sadness on social media today about the loss of someone so gifted — and so young.

“It’s about one per week now,” Tetyana Hayes lamented from St. Thomas on Facebook.

Police spelled Jonathan’s name “Fontanelle.” But he himself on social media and FIBA on their website spelled his name “Fontenelle.”

Jonathan Fontenelle on the East End of St. Croix. (Facebook photo.)

The VIPD is appealing to the community for information into this and other open cases.

Please contact police with your information by calling 911, the Crime Tip Line at (340) 778-4950, or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-8477.

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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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