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Criminal Justice Is Twisted Connection in Homicides


Dec. 23, 2004 – When Jamal Walters, 19, was gunned down on Wednesday afternoon in Castle Coakley village, he was second young black male to be shot to death within the week.
The victims had something in common. According to Sgt. Thomas Hannah, police spokesman, neither was a "stranger to the system."
The system he was referring to was the criminal justice system. He said both men had served time in Golden Grove Correctional Facility.
"They come out of there and they are angry, angry at each other. We don't know, but we are working on that angle," Hannah said Thursday.
He said officers would be questioning people Thursday in the residential area where Walters' body was found in the middle of a street.
A second 19-year old was shot along with Walters. He was taken to the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and treated for a leg wound. He is a resident of Estate Castle Coakley. Walters was a resident of Estate Peter's Rest.
According to Hannah, as of yet, the second victim has provided little information except to say there was an altercation. Police at this time are not even speculating whether it was a drive-by shooting. Hannah said, "Information is coming in much slower than we would hope."
Without any clear motive in the Wednesday shooting or the one Saturday when Dixon Lewis was killed, everything is being considered – gang-related, retaliation for something that happened within or outside prison or possibly those who were killed were not the intended victims.
Hannah said, "We were hoping for a quiet Christmas. Instead, everything has gone haywire."
Besides the shooting death of Lewis, 28, in Estate Mount Pleasant last Saturday night, there was a shooting early Saturday morning outside a night club in Frederiksted. (See "St. Croix Has Two Shootings, One Death"). In that incident no one was killed, but two victims were seriously wounded and transported to the hospital.
The death of Walters is the 20th death classified as homicide on St. Croix this year compared to nine homicides last year.
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