Shots fired at magistrate’s house

Eight shell casings found

Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale

Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale

Shots were fired at the home of Cayman Islands Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale early Sunday morning.

No injuries were reported in the shooting, which occurred just after 1am Sunday, and it was not known at press time whether the magistrate or her two children were at home.

No arrests were immediately reported by police.

Mrs. Ramsay-Hale was scheduled to be on leave from the courthouse this week and could not be reached for comment either Sunday or Monday.

On Sunday morning, police officers could be seen at the magistrate’s home in the Spotts-Newlands area searching the premises for clues. Eight spent shells were recovered at the scene.

Royal Cayman Islands Police officials asked that photographs of the home and surrounding residential area not be published. They declined to state to whom the home belonged.

“Police are following several lines of enquiry and cannot confirm…the motive for the incident,” an RCIPS press release on the matter read.

News of the shooting spread quickly around Grand Cayman Sunday and rocked staff and attorneys at the Cayman Islands courthouse. The few individuals who spoke to the Caymanian Compass will not have their identities revealed to protect them from retaliation.

“(This shooting) is a concern for all of us, not just the judges,” one individual who works at the courthouse stated.

“We’ve just been told to be careful,” said another.

Magistrates generally preside over Summary Court, which generally presides over lower profile cases such as drug incidents, traffic matters, DUIs and the like

This incident is not the first to concern members of the Cayman Islands court system. Several years ago, RCIPS investigated an incident where suspects broke into a home next door to Attorney General Samuel Bulgin’s house.

It was later learned that the suspects broke into the wrong home and meant to enter Mr. Bulgin’s premises.

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said he was speaking with Police Commissioner David Baines about a targeted crack-down on firearms around the Islands.

“We cannot sit down and let the criminals…run around the way they have,” Mr. Bush told a Cabinet press briefing Monday.

No further comment was forthcoming from Mr. Baines at press time Monday.