Four-year-old shot inside vehicle at gas station
men were arrested late Monday night in connection with a shooting that left a
four-year-old boy dead earlier the same evening.
Cayman Islands Police detectives said the two suspects – one of whom was armed
– were seen approaching a car stopped at a West Bay gas station at around
shots were fired into a Chevrolet Malibu at the Hell Esso petrol station.
four-year-old was sitting in the back seat of the car and was struck in the
head by a bullet.
The boy was identified by family and friends as
Jeremiah Barnes. He is the son of Andy Barnes and Dorlisa Ebanks of West Bay.
reported hearing three to four gunshots.
of those witnesses were children playing on the football field across the
street from the gas station.
is a tragedy,” said RCIPS Commissioner David Baines, speaking at the West Bay
Police Station late Monday night. “The RCIPS had warned that because of the
escalating gun violence on the island it was only a matter of time before an
innocent bystander was to become the next victim.”
early morning hours of Monday saw what was believed to be two separate incidents
of shots being fired on School Road and Myles Lane in George Town.
one was hurt in the earlier shootings.
did not state whether any of Monday’s three shooting incidents were related,
but they did hint that the Monday night shooting was retaliatory.
now that this poor little boy has lost his life people will start to come
forward and give up these so-called gangsters who terrorise the public while
they carry out their deadly feuds,” Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis said
in a prepared statement.
said the child’s father; his mother and his older brother were with the boy at
the time of the shooting. It was not immediately clear whether all four people
were inside the vehicle at the time or who was the intended target.
Chevy Malibu was driven to the West Bay Police Station immediately after the
shooting. It remained there, cordoned off with crime scene tape – while the
child was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town.
was pronounced dead a short time later.
crowd of about 50 people gathered in the hospital car park, some vowing
vengeance against the shooter.
around 9.15pm, a doctor called the boy’s mother and told her he had died. The child’s father collapsed on the pavement
upon hearing the news, while the boy’s mother and grandmother screamed and
cried with grief.
hospital crowd dispersed shortly before 10pm.
crowd of several dozen people also gathered briefly at the West Bay Police
Station, but had mostly dispersed by 9pm.
response to the shooting was immediate. Within minutes of the report, traffic
checks had been set up in West Bay near the fire station for outgoing vehicles.
sirens could be heard all over the district and the Cayman Islands Helicopters
aircraft was also up searching the area late into the night.
two suspects were taken to George Town Police Station for questioning Monday
night. The Caymanian Compass is not identifying them because no charges have
Baines said there was some confusion over the victim’s age – he was initially
said to be five – because the boy was about to celebrate his fifth birthday.
this is our wake up call,” Mr. Baines said. “We need to work together to stop
this violence now before other innocent lives are lost and families destroyed.”
The boy’s killing is the second homicide to
occur in Cayman so far this year.