ST. THOMAS — A second suspect has been arrested in the territory’s first homicide of the year, which occurred in Market Square on January 15.
Responding police and Emergency Medical Technicians converged on an unresponsive man, later identified as Marcos Antonio Benjamin Guerreo, who appeared to have been shot multiple times while sitting in his vehicle.
Investigations first led police to Luis Manuel Mota Rivas, who they believe shot Guerrero on Sunday. Rivas was arrested on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday evening, Aneudy Guerrero was arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting the gunman. Guerrero was charged with first-degree assault, third-degree assault, use of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence, aiding and abetting, misprison of a felony, and accessory after the fact.
On Wednesday, Rivas, who was arrested on Jan. 16 faced the court on charges of first-degree assault, third-degree assault, and use of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence.
The court learned that the VIPD Major Crimes Unit was able to locate several businesses in the vicinity of the shooting which had video surveillance systems. Officers were able to retrieve and review the footage, which showed a light-skinned male pulling on the victim’s driver door handle. Unable to open the door, the assailant was seen pulling a black firearm from his waistband and hitting the window on the driver’s side in an attempt to gain entry into the vehicle.
The man then discharged three shots where the victim was sitting, walked several steps away from the vehicle and then returned to the driver’s door. Surveillance cameras picked up the gunman as he fired three more shots and then fled the area, running towards Weeks Bakery.
In a display of community cooperation, police reported that several people reached out to the VIPD, and supplied police with a photo of the suspect, which matched the individual seen on the surveillance footage. They also provided police with a name: Luis Manuel Mota Rivas.
Rivas denied knowledge of the incident to police before he was arrested and charged.
In court on Wednesday, a judge ruled that Rivas would only be released if he could fully secure his bail of $500,000. Prior to his release, he will also need to provide the court with an address and telephone number where he will reside. Rivas will be placed on 24-hour house arrest with the use of an electronic monitor, only leaving to appear in court, meet with his attorney or for medical emergencies. His next court appearance is on February 3rd, 2023.
Meanwhile, Aneudy Guerrero has been remanded into custody as he awaits his advice of rights court hearing.
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