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12-member team arrives to investigate RVIPF killing of Hernandez

- Investigating officers are from the Turks & Caicos Islands
Murder accused Mr Santo Y. Hernandez was shot twice by police on December 6, 2017 and died a day later. Photo: Facebook
Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews had stopped short at saying whether Mr Santo Y. Hernandez had a knife or a gun and what sort of violence did he demonstrate to police on the day he was shot. Photo: VINO/File
Commissioner of Police Michael B. Matthews had stopped short at saying whether Mr Santo Y. Hernandez had a knife or a gun and what sort of violence did he demonstrate to police on the day he was shot. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Alston E. Penn (in photo) was murdered on March 10, 2017. The now deceased Mr Santo Y. Hernandez was accused of the gruesome killing. Photo: Facebook
Mr Alston E. Penn (in photo) was murdered on March 10, 2017. The now deceased Mr Santo Y. Hernandez was accused of the gruesome killing. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- There was confusion on the morning of December 6, 2017 when it was reported that police had found and pumped some two bullets into the body of late fugitive, Dominican Republic national Santo Y. Hernandez.

According to our National Security Council (NSC) sources, the deceased was shot two times by Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) officers, once in the upper abdomen and the other in the left leg. It remains unclear how many shots were fired and by how many police officers in the recapture efforts, but only two hit the 38 year old man.

Gun or knife?

There was also confusion over whether Mr Hernandez, one of three escaped prisoners who were still on the run after some 143 inmates broke out of Her Majesty’s Prison on Tortola following Hurricane Irma in September 2017, was armed with a gun.

At the time of his shooting, after police got a tip that Mr Hernandez was in an abandoned house at Butu Mountain on the main island of Tortola, Police Commissioner Michael B. Mathews had alleged “armed officers were confronted with a violent escaped prisoner.”

He stopped short of advising the public on the level of “violence” Hernandez, who was accused of the murder of Alston E. Penn earlier this year but was not tried or convicted, had demonstrated to police.

There were conflicting information, as one senior police source had told our newsroom that Mr Hernandez had a gun.

However, moments after our article was published alleging that he had a gun, family members and multiple law enforcement and NSC sources confirmed that our information was wrong and that the man shot by police only had a knife.

Review of deadly state shooting

Police top cop Mathews, who is reported to be on vacation in his home country, the United Kingdom, told our newsroom the same day of the deadly state shooting that “whist it is always regrettable when the force has to use an armed response, it is sometimes necessary for the safety of the public and the officers in the situation.”

On December 7, 2017, a day later, Mr Hernandez died even though police said he was in “stable condition at Peebles Hospital under police guard.”

On Monday December 11, 2017 some 12 police officers from the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force arrived in the Virgin Islands to conduct the investigations.

Our newsroom checked this morning December 18, 2017 with our sources for an update; however, we were told that the investigation has not concluded and the Governor and the NSC have not been briefed on any preliminary findings.

Mr Mathews, who the public has demonstrated confidence and trust in thus far, has promised “transparency and an independent review” of the deadly use of force by his officers.

Caution on state killings- local Attorney

A local attorney, who spoke to our news room in an invited comment but didn't want her name to be used, said on this matter, that “while our heart goes out with continued sorrow to the Alston Penn family, remember Mr Hernandez was never tried or convicted for the crime he was accused of.”

She further stated, we have to be careful not to be so quick to condemn as “today it is Santo Hernandez, tomorrow it might be your child that they [police] shoot and kill.”

35 Responses to “12-member team arrives to investigate RVIPF killing of Hernandez”

  • ... (18/12/2017, 09:33) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    nothing but the truth
  • NezRez (18/12/2017, 09:38) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is true that our hearts are broken over family and a little child being killed, we will never have closure since the main person who can give answers is dead. I have no sympathy for muderers, but I would like to know what actually happened and why, now we will never find out. There are so many stories swirling around that it is difficult to know right from wrong. Still, there is no closure.
  • Well Well (18/12/2017, 09:48) Like (55) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why not bring in a team to investigate Trinity's murder? ????? Where are our priorities my people? ?
  • justice (18/12/2017, 10:13) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    Only this guy and the Master knows if he was guilty. The truth will be revealed in every case - sooner or later. What is interesting to me though is how quick a team of investigators can be brought in for this but we have so many unsolved murders and crimes that have never received such interest? A life is a life
  • Welsah (18/12/2017, 10:23) Like (27) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wrong set of investigative priorities . Fast to try and convict a police over a felon , but not convict the murderers of a child .
    • A life is a life! (19/12/2017, 12:11) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      Why he did not return to prison where he belonged until he had his day in court to prove himself, then we would not be at this crossroad now. But obviously this shows the value of the lives of Trinity, Franklyn, his brother and all other victims murdered. Not a single sole was brought in to solve these cases. What injustice!!!
  • Hmm (18/12/2017, 11:01) Like (5) Dislike (30) Reply
    What happen to taser and rubber bullet ???? I bet if it was a local you would of here a different story.....cop is a murderrrrrr!!! There are better ways
    • FYI (18/12/2017, 14:31) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
      You are an idiot, in law enforcement you match like force a taser is no match for a knife which is deemed a deadly weapon and the force does not have rubber bullets as an option (also not like force). Police don't carry knives as tools of the trade they match knives, machetes and other dangerous weapons with their like force which is their gun. Sorry the guy died but it is what it is.
      • what???? (18/12/2017, 16:15) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
        So a knife and a gun are "like force" ? Using that logic, if a person if caught walking with a knife it is the same as if they were caught with a loaded gun.
    • Really (18/12/2017, 17:01) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      They use rubber bullets in mingo for things like this?
      • Me (18/12/2017, 18:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        But there they hold the murderers in days, here they walk on the streets for 20 yeas killing many others or someone kill them before they finally charge someone.
      • Really (07/01/2018, 06:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Your information is wrong my friend... en Mingo la Policía no juega... te matan.. so plz review your comment... mingo police will shoot you dead and give your family a casket to bury you in... BVI sweet
    • hm (18/12/2017, 17:49) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      Let me go on your level ;In my opinion they should have brought some big rocks and clapped him in is da@n, head since you want to be dumb . He should have turned himself in...He would have been alive now. He was a hitman.... a murderer ...kill and be killed...You people will learn one day...Yes these are better days...better days with one less mistake.
      • only saying (19/12/2017, 00:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        LOL,hm could not have said it better.Just hope the family of his victims will find closure.
  • wow (18/12/2017, 11:09) Like (33) Dislike (0) Reply
    WOW they need 12 people to investigate this? look man on Christmas break. What a waste of resources!!
    • Just a theory (19/12/2017, 21:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Either his family is really pushing for the investigation or he was part of a larger and well connected organisation.
  • only saying (18/12/2017, 11:15) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    What do you mean this accused murderer “only had a knife”:A knife is a deadly weapon.The cops have a right to protect themselves and community at large, you meet deadly force with deadly force.Mr Hernandez,(I use Mr very loosely)had no respect for the law as he would turn himself in to the police earlier or at least come out of the house unarmed with his hands up.Good job RVIPF !.Hope they don’t spend too much time looking into this arrest arrest and try to solve the many unsolved murders in the BVI.
  • qc (18/12/2017, 11:28) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    so you believe they will give us the truth...please you all so naïve
  • wize up (18/12/2017, 12:01) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Police investigating police: the should fun; its like putting rat to watch cheese
  • Gumption. Official (18/12/2017, 12:10) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    It’s really sad it have to take extra work to find out who’s been killing off our people when so many of their friends know the same info but rather not say. The dead have to be like (Some friend you are) /was crazy it seem like either side of the line it’s a friend or a friend of a friend who’s a cool so they can’t say nada cause XYZ. However soon or later the shit will hit the fan.
  • so tell me (18/12/2017, 13:49) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    They are quick to bring in investergaitors to investigate what happen to a criminal that the police had to take out but, they are not quick to bring in investergaitors to investigate why little innocent Trinity was killed. Bet every criminal hère is loving it. It seems like the victims hâve no rights.
  • Aye papi (18/12/2017, 14:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Plenty problem
  • No so fast (18/12/2017, 14:45) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    Don't be so quick to condemn the officers. They were sent out to do a job and it was done to the best of their ability. It was rather unfortunate that the man died however he was a suspected murderer who had escaped from prison and was obviously avoiding apprehension.

    These officers are now being judged by the media and the bloggers the same set who would be criticizing them for not doing their jobs if this man was still on the loose. No one ever wonder the trauma the officers and their families may be going through.

    I fear that this witch hunt may have officers who are called to the scene reluctant to take the necessary action or any action at all.

    I support my local law enforcement and the job they do trying to keep us (many of whom take what they do for granted) safe.

    Thank you RVIPF.
    • me to (18/12/2017, 17:40) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      @No So fast. i am with You on this.Reguardless of what they say about RVIPF, i am sticking behind them. If something happons, who are You going to call for help. If You walk a straight line, obey the law and stay your A ## out of doing shady things You should hâve no trouble with the Police. Thanks RVIPF.
      • @ me to (18/12/2017, 19:34) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
        when they shoot your father, brother or child then you will sing a different song
  • Local.. (18/12/2017, 18:44) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bottom.cant take a knife to a gun fight and win
  • Priorities (18/12/2017, 19:20) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Rush 12 man team to investigate a police shooting but none to help with the open murder cases, strupes, we’re close to zero enforcement soon no one will want to do it.
  • See (18/12/2017, 21:39) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    can the local authorities be so incompetent ?
  • To The Point (19/12/2017, 09:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is crap he could hv had a pen in his hand and they shot him you going bring in 12 men for that we really got money to give away so it takes 12 men to find out wa going on they need to put them 12 on all the unsolved murders case
  • Boo (19/12/2017, 10:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have no quarrel with Mr. Matthews here. He has proven to be one of the better COPs we have had in a while. Ordering this independent investigation of use of deadly force by his officers is by the book and warranted. This is completely different to investigating a murder case. The Police can't investigate themselves. It requires an independent review as opposed to local investigators investigating a local murder. The COP is on the ball here. Timing is appropriate especially to ensure public confidence in his officers.
  • wize up (19/12/2017, 11:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    who footing this bill??
  • @local attorney (19/12/2017, 13:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Today it is Santos Hernandez tomorrow it maybe your child they( police) shoot and kill" While I understand your sentiments i will tell you if my child is accused of a crime, is sent to prison awaiting trial, escaped for weeks running around the place, is confronted by the Police and is shot and killed of course I will like the matter to be investigated!!!! However your tone if you were quoted correctly,suggested that the Police goes around shooting people randomly. Do u know how many persons in the history of the RVIPF have been shot and killed by the Police or even been shot?. Compare that to the number of Officers that have been shot and killed. The facts surrounding the killing should be thoroughly investigated and justice should be done. I will advised "my child" to adhere with the laws of this territory.
  • Pjam (19/12/2017, 14:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are a lot of stories we don't hear about this man ,some people in a certain area of Tortola were afraid of what he did to a certain young woman there People like to judge and don't know the true story.

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