St. Croix Man Dead After Rock Threat

“I going to kill you,” he said as a Barren Spot Mall shop clerk stepped outside Saturday.

Two shots later, Michael Brathwaite was dead. It was almost noon.

Police arrived after someone called 911. Brathwaite, 44, had allegedly threatened the man, a shop worker police did not name, with a rock. The man drew a licensed firearm and put two bullets in Brathwaite, who dropped the stone, staggered about 20 feet, and dropped dead, police said.

V.I. Police Department officials reviewed video surveillance footage and confirmed the shop worker’s account, according to a report issued Sunday. The shooting was ruled justified and no one was charged with a crime in the homicide, it said.

“He stated that when he stepped outside his business, he observed the black male walking towards him aggressively holding an object in his hand, saying, ‘I going to kill you.’ He felt that his life was in immediate danger and drew his firearm and discharged two shots at the black male. The black male then dropped a rock, ran, and fell to the ground about twenty feet away,” the police report said.

Brathwaite was well known to St. Croix authorities. Described as homeless, Brathwaite was reportedly charged with two counts of third-degree assault, disturbance of the peace by fighting, simple assault and battery, and possession of a dangerous weapon during a crime of violence in April after he allegedly attacked someone without provocation. In July, Brathwaite was stopped after somehow gaining unauthorized entry to secure areas at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport. He reportedly told police he was hearing voices.

Magistrate Judge Ernest Morris Jr. had reportedly ordered Brathwaite to be kept under 24-hour surveillance after the alleged April assault.

Brathwaite’s killing was the territory’s 34th of 2022 and the 24th on St. Croix, according to the Source Homicide List.

Saturday night, on St. Thomas, police arrested a man for allegedly hitting a woman, then shooting an unlicensed firearm. Andrew Isiah Reid, 32, allegedly punched a woman in the chest near Banco Popular on Veterans Drive and then, around 8:30 p.m., shot at her near Guttets Gade near Firstbank, police said.

Police forensics experts combed the area of Altona and Welgunst. Officers found Reid in a car nearby. He was taken into custody without incident and charged with first-degree assault, third-degree assault, possession of a dangerous weapon during a crime of violence, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, reckless endangerment, and simple assault, according to police.