Grand Cayman’s latest round of violence kicked on at the Cayman Islands Hospital Wednesday night, when a fight broke out in a car park as friends and family waited on news of three shooting victims.
Police said a fight involving a group of men broke out at about 11pm and ended up leaving another man in hospital.
Witnesses said the man was being chased with a weapon – possibly piping or a wooden plank – and tripped over a chain link fence, seriously injuring his neck and causing abrasions to his face.
Police arrested a 19-year-old man over the fight and said they are investigating the cause of the disturbance. The arrested man’s name had not been released at press time Thursday.
The injured man was treated at the hospital and discharged Wednesday night.
Health Minister Mark Scotland said he is deeply concerned by reports that the incident has spilled-over into the hospital compound while healthcare workers were trying to save lives.
‘We talk about response times and things like that but if [healthcare workers] are going to feel themselves in danger, response times are going to increase – there may be no response,’ he said.
It’s not the first time violence has followed victims to the hospital. A 28-year-old man was shot dead at the hospital in March 2005 in what police said was a reprisal between two groups.
There were tense scenes outside the emergency room following Wednesday night’s shooting as family members and friends flocked to the Cayman Islands Hospital.
By 9.30pm the crowd had swelled to over 60 people, causing the two police officers patrolling the area to call for back-up assistance. Hospital security guards also patrolled the area.
Teenagers arrived at the emergency room on bikes and a number of running cars could be seen parked around the hospital compound.
Mr. Scotland said he is worried about Grand Cayman’s latest round of violence.
‘We need people that know about these things – things like guns – to come forward and turn them into the police’ he said. ‘We can’t continue to do it.
‘The most alarming thing to me is that … the only link between all these young people that are dying is that they are young Caymanians and that is bad,’ Mr. Scotland said.
‘That is the worst part of it to me.’
‘We talk about response times and things like that but if [healthcare workers] are going to feel themselves in danger, response times are going to increase – there may be no response.’
Health Minister Mark Scotland