July 13th, 2010
02:49 AM ET

Teen tourist killed in crossfire in U.S. Virgin Islands

A 14-year-old cruise passenger was killed in a crossfire Monday as she rode on a tour bus in the U.S. Virgin Islands, police said.

Authorities said the shooting happened just before noon in the Coki Point area of St. Thomas. They found the girl wounded on the bus and a man who had been fatally shot in the street, police said in a statement. She was identified as Liz Marie Perez Chapparro of Puerto Rico by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.

Chapparro was taken to a hospital, where she died from her injuries, police said.

The shootout between the unidentified man and the driver of a red Honda occurred at the funeral of Joseph Ferrari, who was shot to death at a mall parking lot on June 29. The driver in Monday's shooting ran away from the scene, police said.

Three others were arrested as police searched the area. Police said they found ammunition on the dead man's body.

Chapparro's family immediately flew home to Puerto Rico, the tourism department said.

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Filed under: Crime • Travel
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Marky

    What do any of these responses have to do with this report? Crazy!

    July 13, 2010 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
    • USVI 20 year resident

      This is a tragic incident – while most of our island paradise is safe and peaceful, there are neighborhoods with hopeless, uneducated, unparented thugs who have never understood the value of life, starting with their own. This is not unique to St Thomas, and anyone who thinks so is equally ignorant and isn't helping. We need to come up with a strategy to empower our youth with hope instead of firearms. Let Liz Marie's death not be in vain.

      July 13, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. ndgirl

    I was just gonna say – What the heck does OIL have to do with the poor death of a young girl on vacation with her family? This is definately not the place for that. My thoughts and prayers do go out to the family for there loss.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |

    Wow this is sad. My condolences go out to the family. From: Canada.

    July 13, 2010 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
    • vi4life

      Yes its very sad to hear such a tragedy like this happening on St. Thomas. Such a young life gone. However the worst crimes Ive seen happening take place in the U.S. You wouldn't like us to blame the entire US on the wrongdoings of few. Should we hate the US and label it a haven for pedophiles. My God please stop child Molestations and Kidnappgings ending with murders! of innocent children.

      July 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ballersmom

    How terrible for this poor girl and her family. An innocent victim to some craziness that she had nothing to do with. Shootouts at a funeral. What a hot mess! Whatever the beef was, how important is it now?

    July 13, 2010 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. execubob

    The US has created a big welfare state in the USVI. They have to bring in outside nurses, doctors and professionals to run the place.

    July 13, 2010 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Really? We created a welfare state? What was it before we became involved...a thriving first-world economic dynamo?

      July 13, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Resident Virgin Islander

      Clearly you are not familiar with the healthcare system in the Virgin Islands. There are many qualified Virgin Islanders working as nurses, doctors, etc. However, just like other hospitals throughout the U.S. and the world, medical professionals are often recruited to fill hard to fill positions. There are nurse staffing agencies throughout the U.S. and foreign doctors in practically every U.S. hospital. So it is unfair to characterize St. Thomas as a "welfare state" based on your ignorance.

      July 13, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • CaribStar

      I am a born and raised Virgin ISlander and even though I am dismayed at what is happening and we are struggling to overcome these waves of crime that have ripped through our community, the Virgin Islands are NO DIFFERENT than New York, Miami, Chicago or any US city where crime hits every aspect of life. Our islands are beautiful, our people are strong, friendly and hard working. Many of these young men causing the problems are not from the Virgin Islands, but have moved here with their families for a beter life. Their way of life is no the way of life of Virgin Islanders and we are struggling to take back our islands so that everyone can live in peace.

      I grew up in a time when everyone got along, black, white, Hispanic, French, everyone. White Americans have come in and tried to changed thigns to their way of thinking, thinking that is always best for everyone, introducing racism, to a community who used to embrace everyone. People from other islands have come to use the USVI as a stepping stone for a better life and have brought many of their customs and habits.

      Ours was one where it really took a village to raise a child, where anyone could discipline a child, families and friends all pitched in to support each other.

      Our people are starting to come home after being educated-as doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, all levels of professionals to help make our island home a better place for all. We now have a state of the art cancer center and a cardiac center.

      We can't let the evil of a few outweigh the good of so many. IT hurts to hear so many people bad talk my home when so many of the facts are so wrong!!! Some of you don't even know where the Virgin Islands are located on a map! Some of you don't even know that we are US citizens and have the same rights as you do (with the exception of voting for President)!! You can hear and read the ignorance of Continental Americans who know nothing of the world outside the contiguious US, but are fast the criticise and talk down our islands simply because we are a people of color, of mixed heritage. WE ARE AMERICANS and just like you, we have our share of problems to overcome and CRIME is top on our list to wipe out.

      Instead of critizing, offer valid suggeastions to hold controlling or wiping our crime in your town or city worked.

      By the way, the young girl wasn't the only one killed yesterday in that incident. A young local man also died and his mother grieves as much as that girl's mother, but I guess it doens't make big headlines to say yet another black man was killed. AMERICAN MEDIA AT ITS BEST!

      July 13, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • 340Lady

      How can make such generalizations about the US Virgin Islands. You are obviously speaking on one point of view. There are many nurses and doctors that are native virgin islanders. KNow your facts before you Speak!

      July 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • VI Fo Life

      In response to cw, I am a born and raise Virgin Islander and for people to comment on how it is a ghetto and welfare state only goes to show how ignorant the general public is about the islands. It is sad to say that it is due to a lack of disipline in this day and age. Growing in my day we as young children knew if we messed up or did not do as we were told we would get beat down from your parents and the whole neighborhood. It has been 15 years since i moved off island to further my education but my heart bleeds for my home. There needs to be drastic change and it need to happen now and start from the inside. those of you that live home know exactly what the inside is.

      July 13, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • local


      July 14, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • jerseygirl

      @Caribstar YOUR references about "white Americans" are what sounds racist. The dead guy that had the ammo found on him. Sure I feel sorry for his mother, but clearly he was involved and not an innocent child caught in the crossfire, black or white. She was 100% INNOCENT. Go ahead and act like Al Sharpton to make everything about race and just further create tension.

      July 14, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Buffy Freak

    I visited St Thomas years ago and wwe were warned to not leave the grounds of the reort at night or unescorted. It's a really dangerous place.

    July 13, 2010 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Nelson

      what about CALI when you can not wear red or blue that is crazy,you all need to stop it this could have happen any where "stop hating cause you all beaches can not look like ours"

      July 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • tinthecarib

      Really? Where were you staying? I ahve lived here for 16+ years and work at a resort and have never heard such a thing.

      July 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. reader

    Source? Funny how the Virgin Islands Daily News and Virgin Islands Police Department websites don't say a peep about this.

    July 13, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • VirginIslandQueen

      Can you read? Maybe if you look again, you will see that there is an article in the Daily News. There is also the poster of the wanted suspect. Get ur facts straight.

      July 13, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Islander

      Yes. It is in the VI News. I guess when you have teenagers killing themselves in the US and also missing females in the US, makes the US the place to live! lol Wow Even up to the shooting in orlando when you have coworkers killing each other and them themselves. Tells you how much the US is the place to live!!! Not even to mention the shooting in the malls and school!! Welcome to the Land of the Free. I guess only the VI has guns! lol The ignorance of people.

      July 13, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • 340Lady

      Its sad but I live here and its true...

      July 13, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • judy

      1. It is true. It is also on the Carnival web site with a letter from the Captain of the SPlendor the ship she was on. My prayers go out to the family. Horrible loss. And i love St Thomas been there on 3 cruises and had no problem

      July 13, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • wyt

      REALLY REALLY REALLY !!!!..ALL OF YA'LL are full ofn it!!!!

      July 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chris

    it's a very danagerous place to live. I lived there for 5 years . It's ridiculas...The getto is 2/3rds of the island so you are right in the middle of all the idiots.Talf about a dump in paradice...

    July 13, 2010 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Islandgirl

      I have to ask you where did you live for those five years? In a hole? Get your facts correct because 2/3 of the island is not the ghetto. Yes it is dangerous in certain areas but not as much as you may think. And this comes from someone who has lived on St. Thomas for far longer than five years.

      July 13, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Formerislander

      I agree with you, Chris. I lived there for six years. The numbers don't lie. The homicide rate in the VI is far above the national average, but has skyrocketed above that since the first of this year. It will continue to spiral downhill until corruption within the local law enforcement and government officials is corrected.

      July 13, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Fedup in the VI

      1st of all if ur gonna comment learn how to SPELL!!..how dare u belittle our island by CLEARLY saying no matter where u go ur between idiots!!..st.thomas is NOT the only place in the VI or in da world that has ignorant individuals living amongst the normal!!..we r very educated ppl with problems like everywhere else!..so dnt act like where u r is spotless!!..how many times have u heard of an Oklahoma bombing in STT or a Columbine..or how about "co-worker shoots 13..6 are now dead"!!!!...i have NEVER!!!..oh but wait that must not have happened in the good old US of A!!!!

      July 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • BAD GYAL

      U DAM ASS!!!

      July 13, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • 340Lady

      Chris if you are going to comment, at least try to make us understand your ignorance even better and LEARN TO SPELL!!

      July 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nelson

      You sound so stupid

      July 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Alex Winter

    Terrible. I thought the Virgin Islands were supposed to be safe? Guess they're turning into Mexico.

    July 13, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • wyt

      mexico...what!!! woman are you freaking crazy..ucan;t compare the VI to Mexico

      July 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proud Virgin Islander

      Please don't compare the Virgin Islands to Mexico of all places. That's an insult.

      July 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Alex

    The last time I went to the U.S Virgin Islands via a cruise, there was no shooting at all. This is just shocking.
    My condolences go out to the family.

    July 13, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. shelley

    First and foremost crime happens everywhere I was born and raised in the Virgin Islands; St.Croix to be exact. some of the comments are pure idiotic.if you feel the Virgin Islands are so dangerous stay the hell away it aint no different from places like Chicago,New York,Atlanta how about that so please don't down grade our paradise. I guess you all would say the same about Rio or Mexico.

    July 13, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Formerislander

      It is absolutely NOT like other places. Yes, crime happens everywhere. Yes, the islands are absolutely beautiful. However, the concentration of crime in the VI is very significant, given the population. I understand wanting to defend your home, but I also believe it's prudent to pay attention to the facts.

      July 13, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. PirateKing

    I've lived in the USVI, NY and DC and can tell you that they all have equally dangerous areas. The USVI are a beautiful place with mostly nice residents that are all working hard to support their families. While violence on tourists/non-criminals happens, it is rare. The main problem with the USVI is that. like many islands, the government is very nepotistic and corrupt. The police force is commonly accused of being complicit in major crimes and many of them are related to each other AND often the criminals so they protect each other. A recent independent report by the justice department found serious lapses including an evidence storage facility that wasn't kept locked and had homeless living in the building ! No one trusts the police force. Third party law enforcement needs to get more involved (FBI?).

    July 13, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • VirginIslandQueen

      i totally agree with everything you said.

      July 13, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • FormerIslander

      You are so right about the corruption in the government. With such a small island, most people in government are related closely or not to distantly from each other. It was one of the most corrupt places I've ever seen. You could get just about anything done if you knew the right people or greased the right palms.
      Don't let this news dissuade you from visiting though, it's still one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It's just like any other place in the world, there are locations on that island you just don't visit.

      July 13, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • sandy

      What is most Important at this moment is that a little girl has lost her life and a family is mourning.

      All your facts are not clear, I grew up in St. Thomas and yes I can testify to some of what you are saying, but all is not so. The Island has some of the most hard working, dedicated and wonderful people. They strive to make the island a better place, but just like many states like Chicago, Washington DC and New York crime is prevelent.

      July 13, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. VirginIslandQueen

    I was born and raised in the Virgin Islands and i am ashamed at how this small place has transformed into a warzone. It use to be so peaceful. My sincere condolences goes out to the family of the 14 year old girl. This was a tragic incident that should not have happened. These crazy people have no regard for the innocent people around them. I mean, it was her birthday for goodness sake. I am truly sorry and again, my most sincere sympathy goes out to her family.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • sandy

      II also grew up in the USVI (St. Thomas) but, I don't completely agree with you. The island has had its problems and what happened to the little girl is tragic but, it is not a war zone.

      July 13, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tammy

    I've lived in St.Thomas for 20 yrs and it is not a dangerous island. It is a beautiful island with wonderful people. Crime against tourist is very rare. This incident was a tragic event, but should not be a reflection on our island.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. kayaker247

    I drove across St. Thomas to get to St. John, I was glad I wasn't stopping. I was reminded of some bad neighborhoods I've seen before.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
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