Cayman murder rate high again

The year 2008 was widely acknowledged as Cayman’s worst for homicides. Seven people were killed here in that year.

But in 2009, seven more people, mostly young Caymanians, lost their lives through violence.

The first killing of 2009, just three days into the new year, has never been solved.

The 17-year-old victim, Jerome Christopher Alexander Russell, of George Town was shot and collapsed a short distance from the parking lot of the ShirReynolds club on Eastern Avenue around 10.30pm. Police said he died at the scene.

Another man was hit in the shooting and showed up later that night at George Town Hospital. The 22-year-old had been shot in the stomach but survived.

Police later said the incident was believed to be gang or drug related.

On 9 March, a domestic incident in Savannah turned tragic and radio personality Sherman ‘Jazzy B’ Bodden was stabbed to death inside a home.

The suspect, a 39-year-old security guard named Paul Gordon, later pleaded guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

A fight over a woman was blamed in the dispute.

Although it was not realised at the time, just one day later 21-year-old Sabrina Schirn was dead. She had been brutally attacked in a remote area of East End around mid-day. Sabrina was reported missing the next day, but it was not until the following Tuesday that her body was located by relatives and friends.

A Northward prison inmate, Randy Martin, has since been charged in Sabrina’s death and faced trial on murder charges this month.

The month of July also saw two killings again in rapid succession.

On 5 July, 28-year-old Omar Samuels was gunned down in the street at the corner of School Road and McField Lane. A police report indicated Mr. Samuels had been shot in the leg and bled to death.

Three men were later arrested in connection with his death. All three now face murder charges and are awaiting trial.

The evening of 8 July, three young men were shot as the hung out with a group of friends along Bonaventure Road in West Bay.

Twenty year-old Marcus Ebanks died, his 18-year-old brother Rod Ebanks and 14-year-old Adryan Powell were injured – the latter left paralysed. Police said two gunmen ambushed the group of youngsters, but no one has ever been charged in the incident.

Another shocking killing was reported in the early hours of 10 September, when 35-year-old Carlo Webster was shot in the head inside the former Next Level nightclub. Another man was grazed by what was believed to be a ricochet from the gunfire.

Three quick arrests were made, but no charges have been filed in connection with the shooting. The Next Level has since closed and was sold to new management.

A month later, another young man, Fabian Reid, was shot inside a car that was apparently trying to flee a Newlands area home the night of 13 October.

Witnesses said several rapid shots were fired and shortly afterward a vehicle ran off the road. A woman who was inside the vehicle was wounded in the shooting, but survived.