Police conducted road checks Monday
night near Hell service station seeking potential witnesses in the shooting
death of four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes.
The checks coincided with a sombre candlelight
vigil for the boy, held at the West Bay playfield across the road from the gas
Teams of detectives and uniformed
officers stopped vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists in the area to find out if
they had any information that could be relevant to the enquiry.
Police said the road checks were
carried out in full consultation with the victim’s family.
At the vigil – which had a notable
police presence – more than 100 family
members, friends and supporters, many wearing white shirts bearing Jeremiah’s photograph,
listened to prayers, readings and songs leading up to the lighting of the first
candle by Jeremiah’s mother Dorlisa Ebanks.
Amid the sorrow, those in
attendance applauded the message from speakers including Angelita McLean and
Pastor Felix Manzanares urging all Cayman residents to unify against crime and
Royal Cayman Islands Police Chief
Inspector Peter Kennett, who is in charge of the enquiry into Jeremiah’s death,
attended the vigil. Mr. Kennett said in the one-hour traffic operation the
police spoke to 69 people.
He also thanked the people who had
come forward in recent days with information.
“Since our last appeal for witnesses a number
of people have been in contact with the enquiry team,” he said.
“I would like to thank those individuals
for coming forward. I believe that we are now making significant progress in
this enquiry and, like everyone else involved in this investigation, I am
absolutely determined to bring this enquiry to a successful conclusion for
Royal Cayman Islands Police
arrested four people in connection with their enquiry, although no charges have
been laid. One of four has been released from police custody.
RCIPS officials declined to name
the man, and only said that he was not released on police bail and not being
held on any charges – which essentially means he’s free to go.
Police sources told the Caymanian
Compass that two men arrested immediately after the Monday, 15 February,
shooting remained in custody. Legally, authorities in the Cayman
Islands are allowed to hold individuals up to 12 days without
filing criminal charges against them.
Two other people were arrested
afterward in connection with the case. No one has been charged in Jeremiah’s
The four-year-old was shot in the
face inside his father’s car at the Hell Esso gas station just after 8pm on the
15th. Investigators believe the incident showed signs of being a
retaliatory shooting, but have declined to identify the target.
Jeremiah’s death was the second
homicide recorded in the Cayman this year.
Anyone who has any information that
could assist the enquiry team should contact the murder incident room at West
Bay police station either by calling the team direct on 926-1773, or by calling
the station on 949-3999 and asking to be transferred to the enquiry team.
Alternatively call Crime Stoppers
on 800-8477 (TIPS).