CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Two of four persons of interest have been arrested in connection with the armed robbery of Glitters jewelry store late Saturday morning, authorities said.
The two suspects were taken into custody on 1st Avenue Saturday afternoon, police said.
“A search of the vehicle recovered an [AR-15] assault rifle, a handgun and ammunition,” VIPD Commissioner Ray Martinez said in a video statement. “The individuals that were arrested are persons of interest in this morning’s incident as well as several other violent crime incidents that have occurred over the last month.”
The two people critically injured in the incident at Havensight Mall on Saturday are out of danger and recuperating, and police are searching for four perpetrators, according to a Virgin Islands police official.
With a cruise ship at the West Indian Co. dock and hundreds of locals and tourists mingling in the busy shopping area, fear and panic spread quickly at around 10:55 a.m. Saturday as three men armed with handguns and automatic rifles got out of a dark-colored vehicle and stormed Glitter’s Fine Jewelry, according to Martinez.
A security guard and a woman, who is believed to be a local resident who was in the store shopping, were shot.
“The female victim was shot in the chest, and the male security guard was shot in the stomach,” Martinez said.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing five gunshots, followed by a burst of automatic fire.
Outside the store, panic ensued, with shoppers taking cover behind cars, under tables and hiding inside stores.
At the nearby Delly Deck restaurant, a woman ran inside imploring diners to “run, they are shooting!”
A tourist who recounted the incident said they were shopping inside Diamonds International when they heard at least five shots and started to run.
After the suspects fled the scene, an employee from a neighboring jewelry store was seen using their t-shirt to put pressure on the security guard’s wounds.
Despite being shot, eyewitnesses said the guard was responsive at the time and asked for the police to be called.
The victims were taken to Schneider Regional Medical Center for treatment.
On social media, the reaction to this article was a mixed bag.
“I saw the video today. Only way you could identify them is by maybe the way they walk and ran. The vehicle obviously stolen. There must be better ways to get this done. Giving police more power to do their work without thinking they are going overboard might help,” Ronnie Lockhart said from St. Thomas.