Man who discharged gun near apartment complex faces multiple firearms charges

Man who discharged gun near apartment complex faces multiple firearms charges

CHRISTIANSTED — A St. Croix man has been arrested after discharging a firearm near a Golden Rock apartment complex in order to intimidate a rival, authorities said.

Annquan Wilkes was arrested and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, unauthorized possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, unauthorized possession of ammunition, discharging or aiming a firearm, brandishing, exhibiting or using deadly weapons, and disturbance of the peace, Superior Court documents show.

On Wednesday evening, officers were dispatched to Harbor View Apartments to investigate a possible shooting at Harbor View Apartments in Estate Golden Rock.

Man who discharged gun near apartment complex faces multiple firearms charges

Mug shot of Annquan Wilkes of St. Croix.

Responding officers encountered a man on Erik Lawaetz Drive who fit the description given by 911 operators. He was ordered to the ground, and as officers approached, he notified them that he had a gun in his waistband, according to court records.

Officers quickly searched him and discovered the weapon — a rust-colored revolver — tucked into the right side of his waistband. The man, later identified as Annquan Wilkes, then told officers about a second firearm in his backpack. The officers retrieved a black pistol with an extended magazine from the bag. Upon questioning, Wilkes admitted that he was not licensed to possess or carry a firearm in the USVI. He was then transported to the Ancilmo Marshall Command for further questioning.‌

Officer also spoke to a man who said that he was the target of Wilkes’s aggression. He told officers that he was on the phone speaking to his friend on Wednesday evening, when his friend suggested they meet up at a location just east of Harbor View Apartments.

The man set off for the meeting point, and while he was walking towards Harbor View’s southern gate, he said he encountered Wilkes heading in the same direction. The man said he exited the gate and stopped nearby, and shortly thereafter Wilkes walked past him, reportedly muttering something that the man was unable to discern. When questioned about what he said, Wilkes reportedly just glowered.‌

As the man’s friend came into view, Wilkes is reported to have removed a firearm from his waistband, aimed it skywards, and discharged one round. That prompted the two other men to flee in different directions. The man told police that while he does not know Wilkes personally, he receives angry glares every time they encounter each other.‌

Under questioning, Wilkes essentially corroborated the man’s story. He said that he told the man to “stop watching me like that,” according to documents before the court. He recounted seeing the man’s friend approach in a black truck, and told police that he drew his gun when the man on the sidewalk began to approach. Wilkes said that the sight of the firearm prompted the other man to panic and run, and that’s when he shot once into the air. The black truck sped off at that point. He reportedly told police that he fired his weapon because “in my mind, they feel like I is a clown.” After discharging his weapon, he continued on his journey before being intercepted by police.

Forensic technicians identified the black revolver as a 9mm “ghost gun” – a firearm assembled from individual components and having no identifying serial number – with one round in the chamber, and carrying 22 rounds in the extended magazine. The gun found in the suspect’s waistband was a .22 caliber revolver of unknown make, loaded with eight rounds of ammunition.

Wilkes was remanded to custody of the Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.

In court on Thursday, Judge Ernest Morris Jr. set bail at $50,000, allowing Wilkes to post $5000 in cash to secure his release ahead of trial. The remainder will be signed as an unsecured bond. However, during a bail hearing on Friday, Wilkes was unable to provide the court with a suitable third-party custodian or place of residence. He therefore remains in custody while the matter was continued to July