Details of new shooting emerge

Police have confirmed details of a previously unreported 28 June shooting in the troubled Rock Hole area of George Town, after enquiries by the Caymanian Compass.

A police spokesperson confirmed Friday that a 38-year-old man was shot in the hip just after 11pm on Sunday, 28 June as he walked down School Road towards McField Lane.

The shooting happened not far from where 28-year-old Omar Barton Samuels was shot dead just six days later.

Police found out about the shooting from officials at the Cayman Islands Hospital, who said the man came to the emergency room with a gunshot wound to his left hip.

The man, whose identity is not being released by the Compass, spent a week in hospital before being discharged on Monday, 6 July.

The man told police he was walking down School Road when a grey or silver Honda car approached him. He heard a loud explosion then felt a sharp pain in his hip. He managed to flag down another driver, who drove him to hospital.

Police did not receive any reports of shots being fired from members of the public and no weapon was found in a subsequent search of the area, which has been a haven for criminal and gang activity.

No arrests have been made in the case.

No arrest in Samuels case

Meanwhile, as the Caymanian Compass went to press Sunday, police had also made no arrest in the Omar Samuels case, more than one week since the shooting.

Samuels was shot in the leg sometime between 12.30am and 1am on Sunday, 5 July near the Habana Café on the corner of School Road and McField Lane.

Witnesses said up to 200 people were in the area at the time Samuels was shot, many of them at the nearby Jah-T’s jerk food stall, which is popular with late night revelers after bars close at midnight.

Police said they have taken a number of statements as part of what they have termed a murder investigation, but would not say how many.

‘We have taken a fair amount of witness statements and we would like to thank everybody that has assisted us and given statements to us,’ said Deborah Denis, public relations officer with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

‘Clearly we would like more people to come forward if they have information but we definitely thank those we have taken statements from.’

At a press conference last week, new Commissioner of Police David Baines rejected speculation that Mr. Samuels was a police informant.

‘I’ve heard the same rumour … there’s no truth in any of that rumour, speculation or comment that has been made,’ Mr. Baines said.

He also gave new details about the amount of time it took for police to allow an ambulance into the area to treat Samuels, who was bleeding profusely from his leg.

‘Having looked at it, it took us around 10 to 12 minutes to get to the scene with our armed officers. The scale and size of the area that needed to be searched, and the presence of so many people meant that it took us somewhere in the region of a further five to seven minutes to clear the ground before we released the ambulance to come in,’ he said.

‘We took the phone call at 1.01am … We believe the shooting could have taken place up to 30 minutes earlier. Actually … we were responding to when we took the call.’

Mr. Baines said the number of shootings that have taken place in the area influenced police’s risk assessment in deciding when to give the all-clear to paramedics.

Samuels was alive but unresponsive when paramedics arrived on the scene and was later pronounced dead at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

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