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. MMS

    For those of you bashing the VI and live in CA, GA, NY, IL, VA or any U.S State, you shouldn't even have the nerve to comment about the violence on my island. You guys have snipers that terrorize multiple states for days...and your police force couldn't even catch them with all of your modern technology and science! So don't bash our police dept. Yes, we have a lot of crime when compared to the "per capita", but at least we don't have cereal killers on the loose for years!!! At least we don't have sickos that come to work upset at their boss and decide to blow off everyone's head top just because he wants a raise! At least we don't have robberies at every single corner shop or liquor store like you do! We have crime like everywhere else and this is just unfortunate that this teenage child lost her life like this. It is also tragic that this young male has also lost his life due to gun violence. And for you who said shanty town...you are RETARDED!! Our homes are built stronger than those sheet rack vinyl houses you guys have that cost 100K. We built with concrete and homes take months to finish here. In the states, your homes are built in a week!! You can hear when someone is walking through the home...floor creeking!!! Shanty???? Yea right!

    July 13, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Badman

    People are always killing each other in the Virgin Islands of the United States. This is not surprising at all. Especially in St. Croix and St. Thomas. The USVI has one of the highest murder rates in the Caribbean. Its a VERY dangerous place. Every week their is a murder in either STT or STX

    July 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Last chance civilian

    You people need to stop bickering and stand up. I have been living in the Virgin Islands for 20 Years I am now 25 years old and have been robbed at knife point, gun point, and seen multiple shootings and stabbings. Will someone come please help us. My condolences for the young girl who so violently had her life ended. These issuse make the news for one day. We need direct federal government interaction on all fronts, Local Government, Police and Welfare corruption as fast as possible. I want to move away and this is my home. Someone help us save this paradise before we go any closer to a Thrid World State.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Formerislander

      Finally! If more people had this perspective, I believe it would be much easier to lend a hand. Who wants to help someone that doesn't want help? The problems are extremely obvious to everyone else, but many islanders are very stubbornly standing their ground and maintaining denial. I'm sorry you have to see and experience these things. I did the same during the 6 years I lived there. I would never go back, which saddens me. I had the most fun and saw the most beautiful things, but the safety factor is too overwhelming.

      July 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tammy

    Virgin Islander and MMS, I couldn't agree more!! And Mike, I've lived here for almost 21 yrs, and I can promise you that your info is incorrect.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Body counts don't lie Tammy, what is happening in the VI is terrible and it is getting worse. Get out of the shell your living in and wake up, maybe things are safe at certain parts of the island like the Northside....o wait hotels get robbed at gunpoint there........or country....o wait people jump of safari buses and start blasting like its grand theft auto.......or havensite.....o wait people get killed in a housing community across the street just about every month..........or the East End........Stop ignoring the problem THAT IS THE A BIG PART OF WHY THE PROBLEM PERSISTS

      July 13, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Formerislander

      Mike is right! I suppose the denial is because of the lack of experience living elsewhere. The crime that occurs there IS NOT NORMAL and does NOT occur everywhere! Wake up and pull your $#!T together!

      July 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. one time

    Let me put it this way, St. thomas is the home of corruption and the land of lawless. It pains me to see some of you VI people are in denial. I can speak on it because i lived there my whole life unitl i graduated from high school. The place is crime ridden, the "new hustle" in the virgin islands is to become a cop. Not only are they on the VIPD payroll ,they are taking dope from suspected drug man and then flipping it to make a profit. They need to post a sign right at the airpot entrance "WELCOM TO F-ING PARADISE,NOT

    July 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ragga

    LMAO @ all these USVI people coming on here saying how safe the USVI is. Anyone that lived there or follow the news knows how dangerous it truly is

    July 13, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Thank you, I have no idea how people can be this blind

      July 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. one time

    @ragga, you are so right

    July 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Last chance civilian

    I bet all of you 100 dollars that this never makes Ricks List

    July 13, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Crucian

    This is a tragedy that has been brewing for several years now. These thugs have been allowed to run the island for years, with the help of corrupted law officers, senators, governor and lack of parenting or parents. Locals have been gunned down monthly, some of which were innocent by-standers but no coverage was adorned to them. With the slaying of this innocent 15 year old girl, the spotlight will be on America's Paradise. Make no exception this place is indeed Paradise despite these tragic events. If you look at the problem you will see the blatant neglect that have allowed this issue to manifest into what it is today. The law enforcement community, law makers and people there need to be held accountable, however they seem numb to the violence.

    The all to familair human side of this story are parents grievig for their children, especially the parents of this innocent 15 year old child. Bless her family in this hour of need.

    July 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sna

    I have lived in th eVirgin Islands for 29 yrs. Everybody is saying condolences to the family 14 yr old who lost her life but regardless of what 2 people lost their lives. My thoughts and prayers go out to th efamily of the 2 individuals. Stop talking about how bad the island is and give suggestins or your input on how to make things better. Not all of the VIPD is corrupt, there are still some good ones on the force who are trying to make a difference.There's corruption all over the world. Crime happends all over its just that our island is so small. We need to pray and hope that come November we make a difference and put people in place who will help make a difference in our island. @ the idiot above our island is very very far from being like HAITI. We justy need a strategy to turn it back into AMERICA'S PARADISE.

    July 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. VIfor LIFE

    O.k. hold up! I was raised on St. John and attended public schools until graduation from high school. Dangerous? Yes, there are places that could be dangerous. BUT why???? "America's Paradise" has a ridiculously high cost of living. Who can buy property there? Folks like Kenny Chesney come down and buy land and the prices go through the roof. Guess who CAN'T own a home? The locals. The people working in the hotels, bars, and for the government. The people serving the tourists. And what are the teachers paid? The police? There is a huge divide between the haves and have-nots and that is a fundamental issue. Also, everyone seems to talk about the drug trafficking issues. Hello? It's the UNITED STATES Virgin Islands.....and where do you think these drugs are going??? I know I'm ranting but these posts have really upset me. The Virgin Islands was a fabulous place to grow up and I will stick by the VI forever.

    July 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jaime Lembach,teacher in the public system.

    How civilized or safe is a place where teachers are attached on the streets by disgruntled parents and when the teacher asks for a transfer to another school the ONLY answer he receives from tthe superintendent of education is: "since you can be killed in your house or in the school makes no difference, I am not granting the transfer".Now every person that I talk to feel that their duty is to advise me to leave the island!!!

    July 13, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Transplant Crucian

      Scares me to think you are teaching our young children when you yourself cannot spell or proof read what you wrote. No wonder they are not learning anything in the public school system. I have lived here for 20 years (St. Croix) raised my daughter here from the time she was 5 ~ and wouldn't trade this place for anywhere in the world ~ despite the bad. There is bad everywhere. My sincere sympathy to the families of both victims.
      I have been through some terrible trageties here, and if it wasn't for the comfort of the wonderful people here ~ I would not have made it through. While living in the States, I was broken into 3 time in 1 year and that was more than 20 years ago ~ so don't bash our beautiful home.

      July 15, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. VIsweetness

    Condolences to the families of all of the victims but I think this is so stupid. This tourist had to get shot for people to realize what is going on. i wonder if it was just another local if we would even be on this site discussing it. I am born and raised in the USVI and never doubt the potential of any of our people. Many succeed and do wonderful things and other will also. Our paradise is a place that needs help but do not be ignorant. Everywhere has bad people that do bad things but its a shame that to this day people still live in a state of mind where things are one sided. Open your eyes people the USVI is beautiful but like other beautiful places there is another side.

    July 14, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. VMS

    I love SST, STJ and STX. Crime and corruption is all over the world and not exclusive to STT. My heart is sad for the young people that lost their life. It's horrible and unfortunate. Peace and Love, always!

    July 14, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Formerislander

    I read the comments of Islander, Carib Star, Fed Up in VI and Virgin Islander (others too) and am amazed. I lived in the islands (VI) for the better part of a decade. I also lived in the NE, SE and Midwestern U.S. I spent a lot of time visiting many other places up and down island. The USVI has major problems. Those of you that grew up and lived there your whole lives are used to it. I understand that you have pride in your home and don't want to hear bad things about it, but how can you say the problems are no different than the OK City bombing or Orlando shooting? That is ridiculous. Obviously, if you've not lived anywhere else it probably seems normal to you. IT IS NOT. Statistically the violent crime rate in the USVI is 10 times the US national average. You all know that people generally don't even report robberies and assaults they can walk away from because the police either don't show up or don't do anything. What would the rate be like if people had confidence in the local police and reported with the same consistency as other places? How can you begin to make an argument in defense of this appalling situation? I'm not saying that the whole Territory is garbage, not at all. I am saying that it is not a safe place- a no-brainer if you look at the numbers or if you just live there and compare it to anywhere else in the U.S. Perhaps it compares well to places in Somalia or Afghanistan, but not to any place in the U.S. that I know of. Oh yeah, the health care is terrible. I don't remember who was defending the quality of the healthcare there, but you're living in a fantasy land. I'll reserve further comment on that unless someone wishes to hear/see a long list of very specific examples.

    July 14, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Crucian Diva

      what does health care really have to do with this article?

      July 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
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