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Gunman Opens Fire On 2 At La Reine Store, Kills 1, In A Night Of Deadly Violence

KINGSHILL — Two people were shot and one man died after a gunman opened fire near a convenience store across from a mid-island shopping center last night, authorities said.

The 911 Emergency Call Center received reports of a shooting on the Queen Mary Highway near the Villa La Reine Shopping Center about 9:25 p.m. Monday, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“Later on, at approximately 9:30, at the La Reine Cash & Carry, there was another incident, as the Commissioner stated, at that scene, Mr. Jovel Newton, was fatally shot and was pronounced dead on the scene,” St. Croix Police Chief Sidney Elskoe said.

Federal authorities were involved in the the response to the shooting incident at La Reine Cash and Carry, Police Commissioner Trevor Velinor said.

Two men were struck by gunfire with one of the victims dying at the scene and the second victim being transported to Luis Hospital, according to the VIPD.

The shooting comes almost on the one-year anniversary of a brutal box cutter attack at the La Reine Cash & Carry store that has been scene of frequent violence and illegal drug activity over the last few years.

Newton was referred to by his nickname of “Bebe Occ” on social media as Crucians weighed in expressed grief and remorse over the young man’s death.

Meanwhile, about an hour before the La Reine shooting, four people were shot — including an 11-year-old girl — two men were later pronounced dead at the Juan F. Luis Hospital, Chief Elskoe said.

Recently, Lt. Leslie Williams, police commander for St. Croix’s west end, noted a general uptick in crime island-wide.

“We have to do something with the resources that we have to increase our presence,” Williams said.

REST IN PEACE: Jovel Newton on St. Croix.

Police are urging anyone with information about the recent shootings or other crimes to contact police — anonymously if necessary. To report information, call 911, the Crime Tip line at 340-778-4950 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers USVI at 800-222-8477.

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