Since the October 2008 murder of Estella Scott-Roberts, it seems to us at the Caymanian Compass that the types of killings occurring in the Cayman Islands have changed.
In considering the five homicides that have occurred so far this year, and as of this writing we are praying there won’t be any more victims from Wednesday’s shooting, it would seem to us that four of the five have a disturbing general similarity.
Excepting the death of Sherman ‘Jazzy B’ Bodden, tragic enough in its own right, the other four killings which have occurred here this year appear to be somehow darker, uglier.
It began just a few days after the start of the New Year with the shooting of 17-year-old Jerome ‘JC’ Russell.
Then there was the tragic disappearance and death of 21-year-old Sabrina Schirn in March under what can only be described as mysterious circumstances.
Just less than a week ago, 28-year-old Omar Samuels died in what appears for all intents and purposes to be a retaliation shooting. And now, 20-year-old Marcus Ebanks has lost his life, in what is again said to be a retaliatory attack.
Obviously, all these homicides are disturbing, but it is the nature of the last three attacks in particular — the callous manner in which they appear to have been carried out — that is profoundly different than what has been experienced in Cayman before.
These latest killings smack of gang-related crimes.
As a society, we seem more willing, not to accept, but to acknowledge that domestic-related crimes will occur; whether that is right or not is probably the subject of another editorial or several.
But this latest spate of homicides has chilled Caymanians and non-Caymanians alike.
The crimes are disturbing in terms of the age of the victims; in the young Mr. Russell’s case that no arrests have been made; in the way the investigation into Ms. Schirn’s disappearance was handled; in the way these two latest shootings have been carried out – as if the participants and victims were nothing more than characters in a video game.
So is this it? This is the destiny of our idyllic little society, ‘the Caymanian miracle?’ Babies shooting each other in the streets because of adolescent pride, or worse, boredom?
Change is needed. Only we here in Cayman can make it.
It’s up to us – every one of us who cares about these Islands. Volunteer, help, teach, listen and don’t give up on those who need that help the most.