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No Arrests in Monday's Murder of St. John Man

Jan. 6, 2009 — As of late Tuesday afternoon, police had made no arrests in Monday's murder of Juan Ayala, who owned Cap's Bar in Cruz Bay, St. John, and the Pony Bar on St. Thomas.
His body was found near his Pastory house with multiple gunshot wounds.
A witness saw two "guys" walking past his house shortly after shots rang out, said Deputy Police Chief Darren Foy.
"He saw them from the back," Foy said.
The witness didn't have a description of one of the men, but the other one had a slim build. He was wearing black pants and a yellow shirt with his hair in corn rows. The man stood about 5 feet 6 inches tall.
The motive remains unknown, but Foy said it appears to be robbery, since Ayala was a businessman. Police Commissioner James McCall agreed, saying that it was too soon in the investigation to conclude that robbery was the motive, but preliminary indications point in that direction.
McCall, Foy and Police Chief Rodney Querrard were at the scene Monday doing interviews.
"We really canvassed that area," McCall said.
McCall expressed confidence that the police would catch the person or people who murdered Ayala. As soon as the call came in, McCall said, the police alerted the V.I. Port Authority. The ports were not closed, but McCall said officials began watching the ferry and barges for suspects.
Residents' main concern is that someone gets arrested in the case, said St. John Administrator Leona Smith. Additionally, she said, they'd like some "easement" to know the perpetrator or perpetrators are not still out there.
One neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said the neighborhood remains in shock over the incident.
St. John resident Steve Black said now is the time to get guns off the streets. However, he said the problem goes deeper than gun control.
"It's likely a young person who doesn't have goals," Black said of the murderer.
St. John's youth facilities are in poor condition, giving the island's young people no place for positive activities, Black said. He called on St. John residents, as well as the police, Gov. John deJongh Jr. and the V.I. Port Authority, to come together to make much-need improvements to the community.
"Let's take this tragedy and heal St. John," Black said.
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