Criminal elements ‘unprecedented’

$50,000 reward offered in cop shooting

Cops

Police officers cordoned off a wide area of Shedden Road after a police car was shot at early Saturday morning.
Photo Sherry VanWey

A whopping cash reward from Cayman Islands Crime Stoppers is being offered in connection with Saturday’s wounding of a Royal Cayman Islands Police officer.

Up to $50,000 in payment has been authorised for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any individuals involved in the shooting, or for information that leads to the recovery of the weapon or weapons used in the shooting.

The reward, offered in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, was announced Tuesday – three days after an RCIPS patrol car was fired upon.

According to police, a bullet pierced the back windshield of the patrol car after shots were fired near the intersection of Shedden Road and Dr Roys Drive in central George Town. An officer inside the vehicle suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from hospital later that day.

The police car was part of a convoy of law enforcement vehicles passing through George Town at around 3.15am Saturday. It’s believed the police vehicle was targeted in the shooting.

‘This particular act…proves that we are facing criminal elements that are reaching an unprecedented level,’ Chamber President Stuart Bostock said Tuesday.

Police combed through a wide area around the shooting scene Saturday; a search that included inspecting the roof of a nearby building. Police offered no explanation for why a shooter or shooters would have targeted a police vehicle or a police convoy.

In recent months, the George Town ‘Hot Spot’ police team has been out and about late Friday nights and early Saturdays search for illegal street parties known as ‘sessions’. The convoy was believed to be part of that operation.

No arrests in connection with Saturday’s shooting had been reported by press time.

‘The community and the police need your help now,’ said Crime Stoppers Chairman Eric Bush. ‘We ask the police to put their lives on the line every day. It is your turn to help.’

Tips to the Cayman Crime Stoppers toll-free line, 800-8477, are anonymous and fielded through a secure line in Florida. Those with information can also submit information on-line at www.crimestoppers.ky.

Mr. Bostock said a number of Chamber members had contributed to the reward fund, and others who wished to contribute should contact the Chamber of Commerce office.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, which celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2007, has never lost a police officer in the line of duty.

‘We must work collectively as a community to send a message to the criminals responsible for this act that we will not tolerate this form of violence,’ Mr. Bostock said.

Saturday’s shooting was one of several high profile violent events which occurred in the last week on Grand Cayman.

Just hours before the RCIPS officer was shot on Saturday, what was described as a gang fight among some 40 people was broken up in East End near Pirates Bar. Several people were hurt in the melee and police had to respond to mitigate the situation.

Early Friday, the Walkers Road Texaco was robbed by a man who witnesses said appeared to be carrying a submachine gun. No one was hurt. Four suspects were arrested later that same day in connection with the heist.

On Wednesday, a 17-year-old John Gray High School student was stabbed in school by a 16-year-old classmate. The 16-year-old was taken into police custody immediately after the incident.

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