March 11, 2006 — Police authorities on St. Thomas said Friday that an employee-employer dispute led to a fatal shooting around 2 p.m. on the grounds of Lovenlund housing development near St. Thomas Dairies. And based on the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting, it will be up to the V.I. Justice Department to determine whether charges will be filed.
VIPD spokesman Sgt. Thomas Hannah said the dispute was between the deceased, 34-year-old Brendan Maloney, and his boss over money for work that had been done.
"Maloney after being told that his work had to be checked first by a supervisor, went to a vehicle, armed himself with a machete and returned to the employer, Ivan Mills, threatening to cut off one of his
Hannah said Friday evening that although Mills, on several occasions Friday afternoon, tried to avoid the agitated worker, Maloney continued to advance towards Mills threatening bodily harm.
Eyewitnesses told police that Mills, after being chased by Maloney, sought refuge around a parked truck near Lovenlund Building 12 only to be "confronted yet again" by Maloney.
"At one point Maloney raised his arm and threatened to strike Mills with the machete. Mills retrieved a licensed firearm from his person and fired one shot which struck Maloney in the chest," Hannah said.
Maloney died on the scene, Hannah said, and eyewitnesses to the shooting said as Maloney fell to the ground after being shot, so did the long, red-handled machete he was allegedly wielding.
Photographs of the crime scene show the victim lying in a pool of blood between two vehicles outside Lovenlund Building 12 with the machete about two feet away near the right side of the body.
The gun used in the shooting has been confiscated as has the machete. "We will continue to investigate the case from all possible angles and this case will be listed as murder until proven differently through "evidence gathered at the scene," Hannah said.
Deputy Police Chief Elvin Fahie said at the scene that the initial reports to police were of a disturbance, altercation and shooting at the housing development located a short distance away from Magens Bay. "Officers found a black male [Maloney] lying face up on the ground…they also found another male on the scene [Mills] who was involved in the shooting. "He is being interviewed by detectives to determine what went on here today," Fahie said.
Late Friday night, Hannah said VIPD Major Crime investigators will turn over the case, now categorized as a homicide, to the V.I. Justice Department where a determination will be made as to whether charges will be filed against Mills. "The preliminary investigation has revealed that Mills, the victim in this case, used his duly licensed firearm to protect himself."
Maloney's death is the third killing in the territory in a one week period, it is also the fifth murder in the St. Thomas-St. John district in 2006.
On St. Croix last Saturday morning, Daudoi Samuel Jr. was shot and killed during a concert at the Country Club, the former New Drive Inn theater. No suspects have been identified, a motive has not been established but police have said that the case appears to be retaliatory in nature. A day later on St. Thomas, Milton Gonzalez was gunned down near a supermarket in Sub Base as a result of a reported altercation over a woman. Steven Baxter, 21, has been charged with murder in Gonzalez's death.
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