ST. CROIX — Two men and their girlfriends appeared in court on Monday to face charges including attempted murder and being accessories after the fact.
Rosniel Bautista and Angel Perez were recently arrested on charges of first-degree attempted murder, first and third-degree assault, unauthorized possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of ammunition, discharging or aiming a firearm and reckless endangerment.
Their girlfriends, Indierra Morales and Reanna Thompson were arrested on charges of first-degree and second-degree assault, both as an accessory after the fact. They were also arrested on charges of misprision of a felony.
Their arrest follows a report by two gunshot victims, a man and his girlfriend, who stated that on June 25 they were going out to have a few drinks when they became victims of a shooting.
According to the documents before the court, the male individual chose to drive his girlfriend’s white Jeep Compass. While on the Melvin Evans Highway and driving past the west airport traffic light, the man noticed a vehicle up ahead. He continued driving, and as he passed the Estate Paradise traffic lights he noticed that he was getting closer to the vehicle in front, so he decided to overtake it. While passing the vehicle, he heard what sounded like gunshots, 4 or 5 of them, and he heard glass breaking. It was then that he realized that the vehicle he was driving was being fired at. He lost control of the vehicle and spun out. At that point, he was in fear for his and his girlfriend’s lives.
For fear that the gunmen were waiting for them, the man decided to drive west. It was at that point that his girlfriend felt a burning sensation in her stomach and realized she had been shot. Also at that time, the boyfriend felt the back of his shirt was wet and started to feel pain in his back and realized that he too had been shot. He stated that he then drove to the Juan F. Luis Hospital.
The man sustained a single gunshot wound to the upper back, and a nurse removed a projectile from his shirt. He stated that while he did not see who fired the shots, he did notice that they were driving a tan or light-colored Chevy Equinox with a broken rear trunk glass on the driver’s side. The woman sustained injuries to her right elbow, forearm and a gunshot wound to the right side of her upper abdomen.
Outside the hospital, police noticed the white jeep the victims were driving and observed that there were indeed bullet holes to the passenger side door, the front passenger side tire and a shattered rear glass on the passenger side. Police returned to the area where the incident occurred and discovered several shell casings on the roadway. An all-points bulletin on the suspects’ vehicle was aired via the 911 Emergency Call Center.
On June 26, the 911 Emergency Call Center confirmed the description of a vehicle matching that of the suspects’ which was found in Old Fredensborg. Police traveled to the area and saw the Chevy Equinox with the broken rear side glass on the driver’s side. The vehicle was parked on an unknown property along with several other abandoned vehicles. A license plate was also on the vehicle.
Following the discovery of the vehicle, police were able to gather details that led to the arrest of the four suspects.
In court on Monday, a judge set bail at $100,000 for Bautista, which he must pay in full to secure his release. Perez, however was allowed to post an unsecured bond for the same bail amount.
If Bautista is able to post bail, he will be placed under 24-hour house arrest with use of an electronic monitor. He is to only leave his residence for court appearances, emergencies and to meet with his attorney.
Perez will also be placed under 24-hour house arrest but without the use of an electronic monitor. He is to employed and can only leave his residence for work, court appearances of medical emergencies.
Regarding Morales and Thompson, the suspects’ girlfriends, upon posting of an unsecured bond of $37,500, Morales will be released into the custody of a third-party custodian. Thompson, however will be allowed to post $2,000 cash with the remainder of the $37,500 bail as an unsecured bond to secure her release.
All four individuals are not permitted to leave St Croix without written authorization. They are to surrender their passports and report to the Office of Probation every Tuesday. They were also ordered to have no contact directly or indirectly with the victims or witnesses in this matter.
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