Arrest Made in St. Thomas Teenage Cruise Passenger Shooting

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Police in St. Thomas say a suspect has been arrested in the slaying of a 14-year-old Carnival cruise ship passenger on Monday.

Steven Tyson surrendered after authorities posted wanted posters naming him as a suspect around the Caribbean island, according to The Associated Press.

Lizmarie Perez Chaparro of Puerto Rico was killed in the crossfire of a gunfight between gangs. At the time she was heading to a popular beach in an open-air taxi with her family.

Tyson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of the girl and an 18-year-old man also killed in the shootout near Coki Point Beach, AP reports.

Chaparro and her family arrived in St. Thomas, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, on the 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory, which departed Sunday on the weeklong Caribbean cruise. She was celebrating her 15th birthday, according to newspaper reports in Puerto Rico.

According to Carnival Cruise Lines, another cruise ship passenger also sustained a minor injury in the shootout.

While the victims were not on a shore excursion at the time, Carnival immediately suspended all excursions that include the Coki Point Beach area.

Norwegian Cruise Line, which has its new, 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic calling in St. Thomas today for the first time, also canceled excursions to the Coki Point area and gave passengers the option of canceling any excursions they had booked on the island, a spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, the St. Thomas Source is reporting "only handfuls of tourists" in Charlotte Amalie, the island capital, which is usually buzzing with cruise ship passengers.

"Murder, murder, murder," the Source quotes one taxi driver as saying loudly as he unsuccessfully tried to offer one passing family a ride to a beach. "That's all everyone is talking about."

Photo, Danquella Manera, flickr
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