The leader of the U.S. Virgin Islands says the three-island territory is undergoing a worrying uptick in gun violence.

Citing police statistics, acting Gov. Osbert Potter said Tuesday that the territory of just over 100,000 people experienced 32 gun killings during the first seven months of the year.

A total of 22 killings were on the main island of St. Thomas. That's more than the total of 21 homicides recorded in all of 2015 for the most populous island. Fifteen of last year's St. Thomas killings were by gunshot.

Potter says, "Many of the young men in our community have absolutely no regard for life."

The U.S. territory has been one of numerous Caribbean transit routes for South American cocaine en route to the U.S. mainland.