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V.I. National Guard Soldier Victim of Weekend Homicide

Gov. John deJongh Jr. briefs V.I. National Guard soldiers Monday on St. Thomas before they deployed for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.When 72 V.I. National Guard soldiers deployed Monday on the first leg of their yearlong mission to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, there was a sad gap in their ranks.

Their comrade, Spc. Lewayne Fraser, was not by their side.

Fraser was killed by gunfire Saturday on his native St. Thomas, just two days before he was scheduled to deploy.

"It was a great loss for us," said Maj. Gen. Renaldo Rivera, adjutant general of the V.I. National Guard, speaking to the Source Monday night.

Police officials said Fraser and Tortola resident Victor Smith were traveling in the area of Garden Street and Nye Gade in a white vehicle about 3:45 a.m. Saturday when at least one suspect outside opened fire, killing Smith and Fraser with multiple gunshots. Both men were 24. Both died at the scene.

Although V.I. Police Department officials did not say if there were other survivors in the car, the BVI Platinum online newspaper reported Monday that a third man, also a resident of Tortola, had escaped the car after the shooting. The paper also reported that Fraser and Smith were killed "execution-style."

Police did not release any additional details on the case Monday.

Fraser, who hailed from Anna’s Retreat, belonged to the 786th Combat Sustainment and Support Battalion. Along with other units from St. Croix and St. Thomas, it deployed for a weeklong training session in Washington before continuing on to Guantanamo Bay.

Rivera said he believed, as was rumored, that Fraser had attended a pre-deployment going-away party in the hours before he was gunned down.

According to his social media profiles, Fraser was a graduate of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School and played bass in the No Conflict Band, which formed at the school. Friends and fans knew Fraser as "Daddy Greedy."

Sadly, Fraser had recently become a father and was a Facebook fan of the group "Stop the Bleeding, USVI," which organizes against violence in the Virgin Islands.

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