St. Croix Men Killed in Double Homicide May Have Shot Each Other

Two men found dead in Frederiksted may have shot each other, the V.I. Police Department said Monday.

Around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, police responded to reports of shots fired to find two men down on sidewalks. Steven Hodge Jr., 18, was lying on the ground unresponsive in the Paradise Mills housing community, and Aurelio Rivera, 34, was found dead outside the Louis E. Brown apartments, police said.

Both men had been shot multiple times. Police are testing bullets recovered from the scenes to see if the men killed each other, said Chief Detective Lt. Naomi Joseph.

“We aren’t looking for any other suspects, and we are awaiting the ballistics to answer some of those questions,” Joseph said.

Evidence showed Rivera had run from Paradise Mills to the Louis E. Brown housing community, where he dropped and succumbed to his injuries, police said.

Sunday’s deaths cap a violent week on St. Croix. They are the territory’s 25th and 26th homicides of 2022 and the 19th and 20th for the big island, according to the Source Homicide List.*

On Wednesday, two men were shot and killed in separate incidents, according to the VIPD. Jose Berrios, 47, was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the staircase of building 88 in the Harvey housing community around 7:45 p.m. that day, according to police. When EMS arrived, Berrios had already succumbed to his injuries, they said.

Earlier in the day, Jorge Luis Saldana, 24, was shot multiple times while at work mowing grass around 9:40 a.m. in Bethlehem Village on St. Croix. Police found Saldana lying on the ground in front of his apartment. The gunman had already fled the area by the time police arrived, the VIPD reported.

*The Source Homicide List is a chronological log of the homicides recorded in 2022 in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as reported by the VIPD. Cases are broken down by island. While this listing is based on VIPD reports, the Source does not include suicides or vehicular homicides in its listing. The police and some other media do. This can lead to a discrepancy in the number of incidents reported.