West Bay has been the venue for two shooting incidents in the last two days.
A 37-year-old Caymanian man was shot near Super C’s Italian restaurant on Watercourse Road in what was believed to be a drive-by shooting shortly after 9pm Wednesday,
Police rushed to the scene after an anonymous caller reported someone had been shot in the back of the head.
The victim received a non life-threatening injury to the back of his neck.
He was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital where he was awaiting surgery to remove the bullet
Police said a 24-year-old Caymanian man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
The shooting followed another on Bonsal Crescent the previous night when a 56-year-old man was shot in the face with what was believed to be an air gun.
He was later taken to hospital for surgery to remove a pellet lodged in his right cheek.
The two incidents – coming after a period of low gun crime in Cayman – serve to show the unpredictability of where and when such offences can flare up.
‘The incidents underscore the point that, with criminals running around with guns, the safety of police officers and the public is paramount,’ RCIP Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis said.
The shootings helped to bring into focus criticism from some members of the public, through the media, about the use of armed police, he said.
‘We have a comprehensive and exacting firearms procedure and policy and only trained, certified police officers are allowed, under certain defined circumstances, to carry guns,’ Mr. Ennis said.
Officers have had their training updated by the UK’s Merseyside Police specialist Matrix Team, he said
Some firearms officers have undergone training in the UK and four officers, following a selection process, will undergo further training in the UK in the New Year, he said.
Police road blocks encountered by the public were being randomly set up to target not just drunk drivers and traffic related offences but also to catch people who might be engaged in criminal activities, said Mr. Ennis.
Some of those were known to travel with firearms or other weapons and the safety of officers and their ability to have an appropriate response had to be taken into account, he said.
The particular requirements of each road block were treated individually depending on the circumstances, the operational needs and the intelligence available, said Mr. Ennis.
No police officer was routinely armed and any deployment of a firearm had to be authorised at a senior level, he said.
‘I am quite satisfied and confident with the process,’ he said.
The road blocks, which he said are proving to be effective, will be used as long as necessary and are part of the RCIP’s relentless crack down on crime.
Anyone with information on the shootings should call police on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477.