CHRISTIANSTED — Police are investigating the shooting of two males — at least one of them a minor — that left at least one teenager dead in Sion Farm last night, authorities said.
Tintawee Christian, 16, of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas was positively identified by next of kin as being the murder victim, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.
Another unidentified male with Christian at the time of the shooting survived with a gunshot wound to the chest, social media said. He will be airlifted to Puerto Rico today for further treatment.
“He was listed in serious but stable condition,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.
People from as far away as The Meadows north of Strawberry Hill (west of the Sunny Isle Shopping Center), reported hearing a barrage of gunfire close to 10 p.m. last night. Witnesses said at least 100 rounds of ammunition were fired in Sion Farm, which is east of the Sunny Isle Shopping Center.
Christian and his male friend were walking in Sion Farm when they were approached by an unfamiliar vehicle and at least one person got out of the car and opened fire with a heavy fusillade of machine gun fire before 9:58 p.m. Monday, when the 911 Emergency Call Center got the first reports of gunfire there.
“Upon arrival, officers discovered two male gunshot victims,” Derima said. “One victim was transported by ambulance to the Juan F. Luis Hospital for treatment.”
Christian was pronounced dead on the scene by Emergency Medical Technicians in Sion Farm who found no vital signs on him, police said.
“Officers and detectives processed the scene and the investigation is ongoing, according to Derima.
Although Christian was from St. Thomas, social media reports said he attended St. Croix Central High School to play football, basketball and baseball and had traveled to Panama as part of a U.S. Virgin Islands sports delegation. Tintawee said on social media that he also attended Charlotte Amalie High School (CAHS) in St. Thomas.
Virgin Islanders expressed extreme grief for the honor student Christian on social media after two murders took place in St. Croix in 28 hours.
Joseph Leonardo Clarke, 27, of Grove Place was shot and killed about 5:10 p.m. Sunday near the corner of Market and King Streets in Frederiksted.
“Just spoke to a teacher who was crying tears out for you,” educator Eliza Rampersad said on Facebook. “Young King Mentality. Tintawee, Ms. Rampersad call me taliban, I am not feeling this news at all.”
“How can we continue to encourage our young men to stray away from the street life even when they actually DO the right thing they still get shot and killed for NO REASON!!! Because of some turf SHIT!!! So SICK AND TIRED !!!! MY STUDENT DID NOT DESERVE THIS!! A day will come when they will ROT IN HELL!!! You can try to evade the police now but you can never hide from God!” St. Croix Central High School music teacher/band director Sacha Alexander said on Facebook. “(crying emoji’s) My heart is aching for you Tintawee! I just want you to know that I am soooo proud of you and what you represented! You DID GOOD! Please rest easy sweet boy! From your fav. Band teacher! I love you Tintawee! Still just can’t believe it!”
“I am screaming at our ELECTED OFFICIALS DO BLEEPING SOMETHING!!!!!! Mehn,” Arlene Coggins-John, a parent of someone who knew Christian. “This child was not a gang member, he was an athlete. He played basketball, baseball, and football. He represented the Virgin Islands in countries such as Panama. He was respectful and funny. How do we protect our young men who are doing their part in this thing call life?”
There have have been 38 homicides so far in 2020. St. Croix has reported 20 murders, St. Thomas 17 and St. John one.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 911, the Crime Tip Line at (340) 778-4950, or anonymously to Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-8477.