Quasheem Christian, 23, who was identified as the suspect in the death of Chandler “Frenchie” Heath, was arrested Wednesday on St. Croix and charged with first-degree murder, the V.I. Police Department reported.
In January, VIPD’s Major Crime Unit, St. Thomas district, was assigned to investigate the murder of Heath, 31, a tow truck operator who was killed in Bolongo Bay on Jan. 29. The investigation led to the identification of the suspect, and a warrant was sought and obtained for the arrest of Christian as a contract killer, according to the police report.
At about 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Christian was seen in Estate Mountain in a WAPA truck, and a traffic stop was made in the vicinity of the Industrial Park on Melvin Evans Highway. Christian was arrested without incident for first-degree murder. He was processed and, unable to post bail of $1 million, was transported to the John Bell Correctional Facility pending his advice of rights hearing on Friday, the police report stated.
“This arrest really shows the communication between the islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John), considering that the incident occurred on St. Thomas and the arrest was made on St. Croix,” said St. Croix Police Chief Sean Santos.
“Some folks might question the tactics officers used but based on the severity of the warrant (being a murder warrant), the officers exercised caution. Everyone is aware of the climate that we are in, where officers are being challenged more by way of violence, so the officers addressed it appropriately,” the chief said.
WAPA CEO Andrew Smith issued a statement on Wednesday evening, affirming the utility’s cooperation with the VIPD.
“We’re addressing an ongoing situation where some of our employees were reportedly involved in an incident with law enforcement this morning on St. Croix. Please be assured that the safety of our employees is our utmost concern. We are working closely with the Virgin Islands Police Department to gather accurate information. Your patience and understanding are appreciated,” Smith said.