Two arrested in child’s killing

Four-year-old shot inside vehicle at gas station

Two
men were arrested late Monday night in connection with a shooting that left a
four-year-old boy dead earlier the same evening.

Royal
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
8.25pm Monday.

Several
shots were fired into a Chevrolet Malibu at the Hell Esso petrol station.

The
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.

Witnesses
reported hearing three to four gunshots.

Some
of those witnesses were children playing on the football field across the
street from the gas station.

car_bullet_hole

This Chevrolet Malibu was fired at during Monday night’s shooting in West Bay. A bullet hole is visible on the front passenger side of the car.

Photo: Brent Fuller

“This
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.”

The
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.

No
one was hurt in the earlier shootings.

Police
did not state whether any of Monday’s three shooting incidents were related,
but they did hint that the Monday night shooting was retaliatory.

“Perhaps
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. 

Police
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.

The
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.

He
was pronounced dead a short time later.

A
crowd of about 50 people gathered in the hospital car park, some vowing
vengeance against the shooter.

At
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.

The
hospital crowd dispersed shortly before 10pm.

A
crowd of several dozen people also gathered briefly at the West Bay Police
Station, but had mostly dispersed by 9pm.

Police
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.

Police
sirens could be heard all over the district and the Cayman Islands Helicopters
aircraft was also up searching the area late into the night.

The
two suspects were taken to George Town Police Station for questioning Monday
night. The Caymanian Compass is not identifying them because no charges have
been filed.

Commissioner
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.

“Cayman,
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.

hellshooting2.jpg

The crime scene at Hell Esso station in West Bay about half an hour after shots were fired into a car, striking a little boy inside.

1 COMMENT

  1. To the preacher who was regailing gays this past weekend during his sermon and telling the congregation that homosexuals are going to be the ruin of our country – why don’t you try preaching against violence and convincing our parishioners to help police stop the rampant crime in this country. Now a child with what could have been a promising future is dead. Why? To every preacher in this country – get the to the heart of the matter in your congregations and talk to your flocks about the need to work with each other to make this country safe once again. The people involved may not have been church goers, but it’s likely their parents, grandparents or other family members and friends are. Someone has to get the message across and it needs to start in the pulpits of this Christian country.

  2. Wow what news to wake up to, though im not surprised i am disgusted that we are not strong enough to break this vicious cycle that is swarming this island.

    People ignore the shock of this all and do something about it, if you are in a position to help the police DO IT, if you are in a position to assist the parents of this child in any way DO IT.

    While fear is a valid and responsible emotion to share at this time please consider what it does to people in the long run im sure we dont want to be confiend to our homes too afraid to go outside,we must remember to react with strength,Cayman this is our secong Ivan and like the first we can rebuild in order to strive forward if we act fast,smart and as one people….THIS ISLAND DOES NOT BELONG TO THESE FEW CRIMINALS!WE MUST STAND AND FIGHT WITH OUR GOVERNMENT.

    On a different note im disgusted that a local preacher according to comment below is preaching hate messages to our society, whoever you are Mr Preacher let it be clear that ignorance will be the destruction of this island..search inside of you and tell me what emotion drives you when you speak against people that are different ..im sure its hate and that my friend is not very christian like is it?

    God made us all (according to the bible) who are you to judge his creation.

  3. In a close knit community, such as Cayman, I find it extremely disturbing that a few individuals are allowed to ruin and traumatize the lives of many. Gone are the days when an individual, man or woman, can walk the streets at night without the risk of being shot, stabbed or mugged. What has Cayman become? It appears we are content to allow the lunatics to run the asylum. These are not isolated incidents. Violence is becoming apart of the Cayman culture. The time to wake up is now. Only we can stop the madness.

  4. It certainly appears that there is no end in sight to gun violence in Cayman. This incident is just another in the crime wave that seems to be the “rule rather than the exception.”

    Noted what RCIPS Commissioner David Baines said of this dastardly act, “This is a tragedy. 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.”

    The burning question is, when and what is effectively being done to rid this small island of this “escalating gun violence?” Residents are completely fed up, frustrated, angered, and disgusted with this current state of affairs. If it is not being brought under control, what is going to happen in the future?

    It clearly defies logic that the source through which guns are entering the island cannot be detected and appropriate action taken to plug the source.

    It is also noted from the press report that two suspects were taken to George Town Police Station for questioning. Yet, the paper “is not identifying them because no charges have been filed.” I find it totally unacceptable that the names of suspects in these crimes, cannot be published because no charges have been filed. Am I missing something here. Is there such a law?

    The RCIPS detectives said, “the suspects – one of whom was armed – were seen approching a car stopped at a West Bay gas station …” What could be more obvious? May Almighty God have mercy us!

    GEOFF DANIELS

  5. As an outsider from a big city (with plenty crime of its own) I can certainly appreciate the close knit nature of Cayman’s community but nonetheless find it utterly abhorrent that nobody has the guts to stand up to these people and identify them.

    These thugs are known, and the fact that they can get away with shooting people in the face in nightclubs filled with cowards who won’t identify them, speaks volumes about the standards present amongst the youth here.

    It’s seems ironic that only when expats and tourists start getting shot will something be done about this violence. But also rather tragic.

  6. My prayers and condolences go out to the parents of this child..What ever you do Dad, do not continue the violence, let the law work it’s process. This exact scenario is why critics of gun control says we cannot let the criminals be the only one with guns… First they will force us to arm our police and then to arm ourselves. Death penalty must be brought back to law.

  7. I totally agree with you that they should bring back Capital punishment here in Cayman. Too many criminals are getting away with murder and it’s about time the People of Cayman need to be heard. The only solution is to march all the way down to the Government Office and demand justice now! The Police are a hopeless case even if we arm them what good will that do us? I also agree that we should bring a US task force in because they are well experience and the best in the world. We are all calling on Government to bring back the death penalty….we the people refuse to be silent.

  8. what we need to do as a community is come together and stop being “afraid” uncaring i call it! we have a good man Commisioner Baines there literally having to beg us to reveal the killers for all of these crimes and he is promising to lock them up for good. They even have a system in place to be completely unknown who is giving the info and even offers money as a reward but yet they cant even recieve one single call to say i heard this or that. Not even one! that is near disgusting on an island with a marl road so high tech we almost hear about something before it happens !! does this mean that as long as it wasn’t my mom or brother etc. i should’nt be worried about it? Sure looks like it!We all want some one to blame if we know who did it the police should know without us having to tell them right? I mean they are physics right? Come on cayman get of your stool and make a phone call put the thugs behind bars before it is your mom, bro etc. and then you will regret it! lets take up the police on their word all we have to do is call and tell them they will go and get them! Give the police a break and give them some info to do their jobs! They listen they care and they act listen beng first caring second and acting final! Commisioner Baines i salute you and the good job that you and your force is doing and i pray the the locals that know what is going on and exactly who is involved will stop being so “afraid” and selfish and start caring for each other by letting you know who is doing it if not even why but why! and i assure you that people know both to the fulest detail but they just dont care as a matter of fact Commisioner Baines the people of my culture enjoy the news and a fair share im sure would want to see it continue for their own pleasure. im sorry on behalf of the good ones that you work on a small island that your job could be so easy because everyone knows and will report the crimminals to you however this is completely opposite and you seem to have the hardest job in the world!