ST. THOMAS — A high-speed chase on Wednesday afternoon in St. Thomas ultimately ended with the capture of four suspects — two minors and two adult males ages 18 and 20 — after the gunmen, who had opened fire in the Bovoni Housing Community — attempted to evade police officers who pursued them.
The two adult suspects were identified as Rasheem Morton, Jr., 20, and Kevon Barcelette, 18. The minor suspects were not identified.
According to V.I.P.D. Public Information Officer Karl Caesar, V.I.P.D. patrol officers from the Richard Callwood Newton Command and Criminal Investigation Bureau detectives responded to a 911 call of shots fired in the Bovoni Housing Community.
The detectives were advised that the suspects who fired the shots left the housing community in a black Nissan Sentra at a high rate of speed heading towards the Bolongo Bay area. Officers in pursuit of the suspects encountered the vehicle in the vicinity of Havensight, Mr. Caesar said.
Police identified Mr. Morton as the driver of what was later discovered as a stolen vehicle. Mr. Morton refused officers’ command to stop the vehicle, which led to a pursuit that stretched from Havensight to the Sugar Estate area. The high-speed chase ultimately came to a stop in the 2nd Street area in the vicinity of a daycare facility — but not before Mr. Morton collided with a marked police unit, according to the police report.
With the vehicle stopped, Mr. Morton and Mr. Barcelette along with two minor male passengers, jumped out of the vehicle to escape V.I.P.D. officers, Mr. Caesar said. The suspects then opened fire on officers during a foot chase. Even so, the officers evaded the gunfire and captured all four suspects.
Mr. Morton and Mr. Barcelette were charged with constructive possession of a firearm. Constructive possession is a legal term that allows an individual to be charged with a serious crime even when the guns or drugs are not found on this individual. Usually this will happen when a person is the driver or passenger of a car where guns or drugs are found, or when the illegal items are found in a home this person occupies.
The suspects were also charged with possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle; resisting arrest; possession of marijuana; and third-degree assault.
Unable to make bail, both men were remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending their advisement hearing.