June 16, 2005 Police have identified the two young men who were found shot to death on Veterans Drive early Wednesday morning. They are Tristan A. Charlier, 24, and Leon H. Roberts, 25, both of New York City.
They had come to St. Thomas to take part in a wedding scheduled for later in the week.
Police received a call from a citizen at 2:29 a.m., according to a release from the V.I. Police Department, saying there were "two people lying unconscious on Veterans Drive in the vicinity of Arturo Watlington Post Office." The caller said both appeared to have been shot.
When the police arrived at the scene they found the two men lying on the ground unconscious. They were taken by ambulance to Roy L. Schneider Regional Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead at 3:27 a.m., the release said.
Police Commissioner Elton Lewis said Thursday morning that the Police Department is pulling out all the stops in its investigation of the double homicide. "We are trying to retrace the gentlemen's steps from the time they arrived on the 12:01 [p.m.] flight out of New York." He said one of the first stops the pair made was at the Green House Bar and Restaurant on Veterans Drive, less than a mile from where their bodies were found 14 hours later. "We are doing everything we can do, including putting the FBI on notice that they may be called in for help with forensics or other matters," Lewis said.
Lewis said the New York City Police had also been called in to help with verification of information on the victims. Lewis said one of the things they verified is that Charlier and Roberts had no known history of criminal activity.
Preliminary reports from other media outlets identified the victims alternately as Hispanic or Puerto Rican. Lewis said Thursday they were both black.
The next of kin, who were also on the island for the wedding, identified the victims at about 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Lewis said Leslye Webb, the St. Thomas district victim advocate recently hired by the VIPD, is already working with the family members of the slain men. Webb was on her way to the airport Thursday morning, he said, to meet at least one other family member who was flying in.
Lewis was reluctant to say much more about evidence that is being gathered and reviewed. "The investigation just started," he said. An autopsy is being performed and the results are expected early Thursday afternoon. Lewis said VIPD would be issuing a statement after receiving the autopsy report.
The release said the Police have yet to establish a motive and, at this point in the investigation, have no suspects.
These were the 16th and 17th homicides in the territory this year, the seventh and eighth on St. Thomas. None of the earlier homicides have involved tourists.
Others in the department and the community have expressed sorrow over the shooting, because of the loss of life as well as the potential for damage to the community.
"Every time we make some progress, it seems something is there to pull us back," Lewis said.
As always, anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Major Crime Unit at 340-715-5546, or the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-715-5522, or 715-5534. Information may also be given at 911 or the Crime Hotline at 340-777-8771.
In an effort to establish a last known whereabouts and to obtain any information about who the victims may have been with at that time, police have released these driver's license photos of Tristan A. Charlier, 24, and Leon H. Roberts, 25.
Tristan A. Charlier
Leon H. Roberts
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