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Koki beach shootout  

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aussie
(@aussie)
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July 13, 2010 2:14 am  

What a horrific event.

Traffic stops and saturation patrols will not fix this. We had 56 homicides last year. We're up to somewhere around 47 so far this year with nearly half a year to go. It's nearly impossible to find stats for other violent crimes. It's nearly impossible to find stats for property crimes. Perhaps publishing them isn't good for tourism.

Time to bring in the Fed.


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BarefootDays
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congasan
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July 13, 2010 3:26 am  

I can easily tell which punks are carrying a gun and I am not even a cop! Lazy, scared, and will not pick up their cousin. There it is. Our tax dollars at work. 9 to 5 if even.


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Novanut
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July 13, 2010 11:47 am  

Another media outlet heard from. So sad for the victims.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/07/12/virgin-islands-crossfire-gang-shootout-kills-year-old-tourist-family/#content


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DukesFin
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July 13, 2010 12:11 pm  

Well, my question was just answered...

Another Carnival cruise liner JUST pulled into the harbor. I guess for now, at least with Carnival, the only action they are taking is to NOT send passengers on Carnival planned excursions to the Coki Beach area.

I hope the passengers that are arriving right now have a nice experience on island today! (tu)


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Native Son
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July 13, 2010 12:30 pm  

What a horrific event.

Traffic stops and saturation patrols will not fix this. We had 56 homicides last year. We're up to somewhere around 47 so far this year with nearly half a year to go. It's nearly impossible to find stats for other violent crimes. It's nearly impossible to find stats for property crimes. Perhaps publishing them isn't good for tourism.

Time to bring in the Fed.

aussie,

I also find it appalling that each time something like this happens, the local media always go for the 'oh my God, what will this do to tourism' angle. That is pretty heartless.

What about the family that has now been totally devastated? They were planning this trip for a long time, and look what happened. They will never get over this. I feel for that family, and I don't even know them.

Like I said before, nobody will do anything because we would need draconian measures to solve this problem. There are too many guns on the streets, in the hands of young so-called 'men' who have no respect for life or property. They will not be stopped until a draconian state of emergency is declared and the proper authorities are engaged to do thorough searches of every residence. A period of amnesty would be first declared, during which hundreds of firearms would most likely be turned in. After the amnesty period, full-out searches would be conducted.

Nothing less will work.

Back in the day, we had a draft and many of these 'boys who would be men' would have been conscripted and made to perform a mandatory period of service. Many of these boys changed for the better due to miitary service...not all, but at least they were subjected to a certain discipline for a period of time and for some this proved to be life-changing.

Now all we have is an economic draft, whch leaves a large group of 'boys who would be men' free to prowl society at will and commit acts of mayhem with readily available firearms.

As long as the money keeps flowing in, St. Thomas will quickly bury and forget this incident. Witness the number of posters who don't want the wires to pick up the story.


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terry
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July 13, 2010 12:59 pm  

They would just hid their guns in the rain forest or somewhere else until the searches were over.

I am not in favor of gun control, but am in favor of very harsh - mandatory penalties for those caught committing a crime with a gun. Mandatory jail time, and if they kill someone, mandatory death sentence.


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InTransit
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July 13, 2010 1:24 pm  

The escalating crime & murder rates need the full attention of government and law enforcement. Enough of the BS and posturing. IF the economic ramifications such as all the cruise lines pulling out of St Thomas is what it takes, then so be it. I am personally both upset (my contractor was murdered last year and we live near Coki) and frustrated that there is nothing that I can do. Coki Beach is a cesspool with open drugs and "punks" haging around. The honest people on island are afraid and powerless as well. Given all the curruption, money talks.


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Jules
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July 13, 2010 1:42 pm  

I am heartsick over this tragic event.


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Native Son
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July 13, 2010 1:52 pm  

They would just hid their guns in the rain forest or somewhere else until the searches were over.

I am not in favor of gun control, but am in favor of very harsh - mandatory penalties for those caught committing a crime with a gun. Mandatory jail time, and if they kill someone, mandatory death sentence.

...then we would search the rain forest, or anywhere else.

I think we can all agree that random groups of young men carrying firearms that can shoot hundreds of bullets per minute, spraying all and sundry who get in the way of their 'gang wars'...is NOT a 'well regulated militia', as per the Founding Fathers, who never imagined the chaos of the present times.

...but then again, we are no longer a Constitutional Republic, are we...


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Novanut
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July 13, 2010 1:55 pm  

Maybe this will be a wake up call to stateside government that the islands need some 'boots on the ground' help to eradicate these thugs. A sweep to confiscate guns is only a bandaid and guns will continue to flow into the islands as long as there is money to buy them. Outside agencies are needed since family ties, from the top down to the thugs, are what's keeping crimes alive and well. Outside agencies are needed to find the kingpins, wherever they might be, and put their sorry butts in jail with no hope for parole. The time for political correctness is passed. Thugs are thugs; whatever their positions in government may be.


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aussie
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July 13, 2010 2:23 pm  

As long as the money keeps flowing in, St. Thomas will quickly bury and forget this incident. Witness the number of posters who don't want the wires to pick up the story.

I couldn't agree more. It takes a sustained effort from a lot of people to create change. Most folks can't change the subject fast enough. What you see is a brief burst of outrage followed by quickly tucking the subject back into its hidey-hole.

If the flow of weapons into these island is not checked, even a sweep for unlicensed firearms would only serve to make things better for a little while. The police proudly state that they have taken 80 guns off the streets this year. Great news! If, however, one thousand illegal guns made their way onto the streets during the same time frame, then the statements are nothing more than posturing and chest-thumping. It's a great start but doesn't go nearly far enough to make any real difference.


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Native Son
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July 13, 2010 2:33 pm  

Maybe this will be a wake up call to stateside government that the islands need some 'boots on the ground' help to eradicate these thugs. A sweep to confiscate guns is only a bandaid and guns will continue to flow into the islands as long as there is money to buy them. Outside agencies are needed since family ties, from the top down to the thugs, are what's keeping crimes alive and well. Outside agencies are needed to find the kingpins, wherever they might be, and put their sorry butts in jail with no hope for parole. The time for political correctness is passed. Thugs are thugs; whatever their positions in government may be.

I agree...

Now ask these two questions:

1. What entity has the finances, the contacts, and the resources to flood the territory with guns?
2. What entity has a distribution system that can get said guns on the streets with no fuss whatsoever?

Think outside the box.


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lydjane
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July 13, 2010 2:56 pm  

I was on AOL.com this morning and this is listed on the main page as "top news".

http://www.aolnews.com/crime/article/gang-shootout-kills-teen-tourist-on-us-virgin-islands/19551521

Guess the word is getting around.


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aquaponics
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July 13, 2010 5:18 pm  

all ovah... http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38219932/ns/travel-news/


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STXBob
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July 13, 2010 7:17 pm  

Another citizen speaks:

http://stcroixsource.com/content/commentary/open-forum/2010/07/13/poor-police-planning-leaves-community-tragically-vulnerable

QUOTE
Open forum — St. Thomas
Poor Police Planning Leaves Community Tragically Vulnerable
By Barbara Allison — July 13, 2010

Dear Source,

That the St. Thomas police failed to close off, or at least post a contingent of officers in, the vicinity of one of this island’s most frequented tourist destinations – Coki Beach – while a nearby gang-related funeral was in process speaks to the incompetence of local law enforcement leadership on St. Thomas.

Again and again, the Governor has called for citizens to join together to defeat criminals and crime. But no degree of citizens’ banding together would have thwarted the unbelievably tragic event that occurred Monday afternoon on the road to Coki Beach, where a teenage visitor to this island was gunned down in apparent gang-related cross fire. This was a clear-cut case of the police themselves needing to band together. This was a clear cut case of the police doing what they should be capable of doing, despite shortfalls in staffing and equipment, and that is, planning. This is a case of the police leadership needing to anticipate problems and acting to prevent them. It doesn’t require anything extraordinary to add up two simple facts: 1) a victim from a recent gang-related murder is being buried, thus very possibly attracting gangland elements ; 2) the burial is taking place within a stone’s throw of a tourist destination. The sum total of point 1 and point 2 is very clear – send in police reinforcements. Better yet - close the Coki Beach area to tourists while the funeral is underway.

Instead we hear Police Commissioner Novelle Francis tell us – and this is a quote from a soundbite on TV2 – “Lucky for us” that a police officer was in the area. That he regards the serendipitous presence of a single officer in the vicinity of an event as highly charged as a gang related funeral as good fortune for this community is hardly consolation when we rely on the police to assess threats and act to prevent them. His statement speaks to the vulnerability of this community, and its many visitors, at the hands of inept police department leadership.

Would a contingent of law enforcement in and around Coki Beach have prevented Monday’s horrifying double murder? Quite possibly. Luck, despite the stock Mr. Francis places in it, certainly did not. And with any luck, someone other than the two victims and their families, will pay for this blunder.

Barbara Allison

Frenchman’s Bay
UNQUOTE


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Novanut
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July 13, 2010 7:52 pm  

1. What entity has the finances, the contacts, and the resources to flood the territory with guns?
2. What entity has a distribution system that can get said guns on the streets with no fuss whatsoever?

Think outside the box.

NS;
I guess if I were a complete conspiracy theorist I would answer the governments. Not just the VI but just about every political entity I can think of since before the signing took place back in 1776. Without us sheep the wolves would either starve to death or start eating their young. Come to think of it, they probably do that anyway. Being an old 'ram' I've enjoyed much of my life in one way or another and that which is left will probably be spent here, enjoying the sun, the people and the real culture where many of the locals are friendly and willing to help. I feel sorry for the 'doggies' of the future whose lives will be so enslaved with a debt from our 'wolves' that the entire world may soon be living in 'the projects' in one form or another with no hope of getting out. I hope and pray I'm wrong; dead wrong.

But those guys back in 1776 knew something about human nature and politics which is why they put in the second amendment. Not to turn the place into a shooting gallery but to protect what's yours from those who would try and take it away. That's one reason why the politicians and the liberals want to take your guns away since a defenseless society has no recourse but to go 'baaaaaa' and hold out their hooves, hoping it gets filled with enough to live another day.

And don't for a minute think free elections are free. Soon billions will be spent in the race for a precious political seat of honor. Mr. Orwell was only off a few years in his projections. We'll soon be there.

Me? I'm just glad to be here where the sun shines most of the time and I'm able to have an occasional drink with friends and hope the AK's pick on someplace other than where I am on any particular night.

"Life's not fair. Never has been. Never will be" [me]

That's outside my soap box. :}


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DukesFin
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July 13, 2010 8:55 pm  

Note from the beach today...

We got there and a delightful woman named Kisha "helped" us park our scooter, walked us to and "helped" us get our chairs set up. We tipped her very well, happily contributing to someone working for not much money instead of doing something illegal.

We spent all day at the beach talking with the locals that have tent shops set up, talking to all of the servers (shout out to Web, Kisha and Sasha!), and they were all just sick about the whole situation. One made note of the fact that on any given day, there is police presence at Koki, but YESTERDAY, with a "gang-related" funeral, for some odd reason, there was NO POLICE present at Koki beach. They were ALL talking about how "odd" that was... Hinting to maybe the police knowing something bad could go down so they possibly stayed away. Who knows if there is any validity to that though.

Anyway, Kishna made a point to come by and say to us, "You blessed me today. I was about to leave because we were told NOBODY would come to the beach today, but you pulled up. By the time I got you settled in, more cars were pulling in. If you hadn't come today, I would have made no money today.

ALL were heavy hearted for the poor little girl that lost her life and her family. They were all disgusted with the gang kids trying to "run the place", but they were all so grateful to those that showed up today.

It was a joy being part of some sort of healing in a VERY SMALL WAY to the wonderful people that work so hard to show the tourists a good time. Their joy, sharing of sorrow, their hard work, laughter and conversation were appreciated so much by us today.

If you ever get a chance, and you are there, please ask for Sasha, Web and Kishna and let them know their joy was not wasted on what could have been such a bad day!!!

My positive comments are not meant to take away from the victims' families, but more to show in a small way some locals' views.


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loungestx
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July 13, 2010 9:27 pm  

Yes, this is bad on so many levels, but mostly just so sad for the victims and families, really just heart breaking.


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islandlola
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July 13, 2010 9:39 pm  

Thank you, DukesFin, for those beautiful words.

I am heartsick over this whole affair, but I, too, am struggling to try to remember to smile at the joys of life in these islands. At the same time I am glad for that joy, I am, as I am sure many of us are, still mad and sad. We need to channel the mad, sad and glad into a response that is a fitting tribute to the deceased.

I hope that our collective voices demanding change will be heard.

Best,

Islandlola


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Hound Dog
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July 14, 2010 2:44 am  

What is wrong with people?! Such anger in such a gorgeous place! Nasty disgusting customer service, an utter disregard for your fellow man, animal abuse and NOW THIS!!!! What will it take for the VI to clean up their act? The fantasy is over for me, paradise has been LOST! I'm disgusted with these M.F.ing animals. And the governor.. HA! Calling for the community to take action! THATS WHAT WE HIRED YOU FOR YOU GUTLESS FOOL! Is there no accountability here? Is this a rouge state? How dare VI's speak badly of "down islanders" when this place is more brutal then they. Ridiculous fools... Gangster wannabes, Punks. When the landfill overflows and you are driving around in litter and bullets it will be too late. I may seem harsh but I'm SUPER pissed. I pray for the family of the victims and HOPE that government officials get fired or replaced over this. I may not be here to enjoy their replacements, this just may be enough to get me the hell outta dodge. SEND ME A POSTCARD!


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DUN
 DUN
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July 14, 2010 12:36 pm  

What one said despite shortfalls in staffing and equipment...
not to start a fight but, why is it every 3 vehicle I see is a blue Envoy police vehicle?
Where were all these cops?

On the cruise ship dock it always comes up in conversation, nearly every cruise ship day "is St. Thomas in a military state? Why So MANY cops?"

Or is it as I have a suspicion, they are not cops in those cars, their government workers doing their personal; business all day?

I too am saddened by this unfortunate death, and angry how punks with guns glorify gangster culture.


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StCroix
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July 14, 2010 3:58 pm  

I was sitting in the Minneapolis airport watching CNN when news of this shooting scrolled across the screen. Fortunately, they didn't report on it more than that.

This morning on an island radio station a "historian" called in to a local talk show and blamed the school system for teaching the children "lies" about their history, -saying that the young men have anger over being "lied to" even by people of "their own color" -and implying that was the reason for all the gun violence. Such ignorance is disgusting and unfortunately not uncommon here and elsewhere. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?


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vigem
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July 15, 2010 5:57 pm  

Fry the bastard teach them all a lesson. Imagine...meeting YOUR death at someone else's funeral!! His family's last pictures of him are at a funeral. This is crazy. What is VIPD gonna do, wait until someone assassinates the governor to DO SOMETHING? FRY HIM!!


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Molly
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July 15, 2010 6:28 pm  

I feel sickened and saddened by this tragic event. I don't think that the effects of this are over by a long shot. I lost a 16 day rental, they said they didn't feel safe in the Smith Bay area and checked in somewhere else. I can just imagine how this will effect Coral World and all of the beach venders with the Cruise ships stopping there daytrips to the area. Such sadness and useless violence. I think that the violence of a few are going to hurt many of us for some time to come.


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