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Culture / Entertainment / News / Virgin Islands / January 8, 2018

ST. CROIX — The St. Croix Festival Committee during a press conference at the Virgin Islands Police Department headquarters in Frederiksted today announced two extra days of festivities, a move that follows a homicide on Saturday that cut short what was expected to be two of the biggest performances this year at the Festival Village: international Soca artists Destra and Kes.

Standing next to Police Commissioner Delroy Richards, Davidson Charlemagne, Festival Committee chairman, said the continuation was to complete on good standing what had been a safe and enjoyable festival season, as well as a way to compensate booth owners who lost money when the event was stopped on the final night because of the violence.

Mr. Richards, whose presence at the press conference was specifically to talk about security, said Friday and Saturday would see strong police presence through a “special plan” currently being devised by the force. “We are going to put into effect a special plan for this two-day activity,” the commissioner said. “Like I said, it was unfortunate on Saturday, [but] for the information for the media, I just want you to know that the perpetrators for the events that occurred on Saturday night were arrested.”

At about 10:40 on Saturday, while local Soca artist Nikki Brooks was performing, two men got into an altercation over a gambling game at the Village called Hi-lo, which ultimately led to one of the two individuals using a silver revolver to shoot the other man multiple times in the back. The victim was revived by emergency medical technicians on the scene, but he later succumbed to his wounds at the Juan F. Luis Hospital.

Later that night, while a man was leaving the Village with his two children, his vehicle was shot multiple times, with the incident leaving the father and his two young children, 4 and 5, with gunshot wounds in the stomach. Mr. Richards said police “strongly believe” that the two incidents are connected.

All three are said to be in stable conditions, and suspects in both incidents have been arrested.

“We will continue to do what we must do to ensure the safety of the folks in this community,” Mr. Richards said. “We really, really had some good days prior to this incident. We provided the coverage that we believe was necessary to ensure the safety of the people in the community and we will continue to do that. Friday and Saturday we will be out, and we will ensure to the best of our ability that folks go out and continue to enjoy themselves for the next few days.”

Mr. Charlemagne said the two-day affair will start at 7:00 p.m. sharp each night and end at midnight. Destra, Asa Bantan and Ricky T will be performing, however Mr. Charlemagne said the planning process was still underway, therefore he could not say for sure which day the headliners would play. That information, he added, would be forthcoming later in the week.

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