Killers Lured Homeless Man Closer, Police Say

Milton Gordon was a common sight in Christiansted, a homeless man often asking for help. Two young men saw Gordon, commonly known as Bobo, in the 3 a.m. darkness of April 2. They beckoned him closer, then, without provocation, shot Bobo down, police said Tuesday.

Emergency medical services found Gordon dead on the sidewalk Palm Sunday, three days before his 67th birthday.

Police identified the gunmen a month after the killing as Elijah Spencer, 21, and Ryan Branch, 19.

Spencer was taken into police custody at 5 a.m. Tuesday, charged with first-degree murder, as well as first-and-third-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and unauthorized possession of a firearm and ammunition. Unable to post $1 million bail, Spencer was transported to the John Bell Correctional Facility pending an advice of rights hearing May 8.

Branch was off island recovering from injuries sustained in an automobile accident with Spencer on April 21. When he’s medically able, Branch will also face charges, police said.

The killing inspired an outpouring of support from outraged community members, many taking to social media to call for justice, as well as greater respect and empathy for homeless people in the territory.

Friends and family of Gordon asked that those concerned send donations to St. Croix homeless and mental health advocates Collective Collaboration.