As Coral Bay’s Labor Day festivities continued into the evening on Monday, September 3, gunshots rang out, sending the crowd scattering.
The shots were fired around 10 p.m. near the Moravian Church. The bullets damaged nearby cars, and several people narrowly avoided being hit.
“My friend went to move his truck, and just as he put the key in the door to unlock it, shots were fired right next to where he was standing,” said a witness to the shooting, who asked to remain anonymous. “My friend and his brother had to dive down to avoid being shot, and some of the bullets went into my friend’s car.”
The scene calmed down until residents heard more shots being fired.
“Everybody started leaving, and all of a sudden, just two minutes later, we heard another gunshot off in the distance,” said the witness.
Despite initial rumors the gunman had been shot, no one sought medical attention for a gunshot wound that evening, according to Dr. Elizabeth Barot at Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center.
The incident was not reported until more than one hour after it occurred, according to V.I. Police Department spokesperson Monyka Johnigan.
“It occurred at about 10 p.m. and was reported at 11:29 p.m.,” said Johnigan. “A gentleman of Gift Hill reported that two black males were shooting at him while he was in the area of the Guy Benjamin field. He said the first suspect pulled out a handgun and fired several shots at him.”
After leaving the area, the individual who reported the crime was then shot at again, continued Johnigan.
“The victim left the area on foot and was walking by the Moravian Church when he subsequently got into a verbal altercation with a second suspect,” said the VIPD spokesperson. “That suspect pointed a handgun at him and fired several shots. It looks like the two incidents may have been related.”
The shooting reportedly stemmed from an argument, according to eyewitness accounts.
No arrests were made in the case, and the victim’s description of the suspects was too vague to pass along to the public, according to Johnigan.