Police: Gang dispute led to killings

West Bay sees 4th killing

Two killings this week in West Bay were the result of an on-going gang fight between two local criminal groups, Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines said Friday.

Calling the suspects “mindless thugs”, Mr. Baines urged anyone with information about the recent shootings – one on Thursday night and the other during the day Wednesday – to call a new anonymous tip line set up by police. That number is 949-7777.

“We know who’s responsible for the shootings, because people tell us,” Mr. Baines said. “But people telling us doesn’t translate to charges.”  

The latest incident in a frightening increase in
gun-related violence on Grand Cayman happened around 9.45pm Thursday as a man was shot
to death on a West Bay street that has seen at least three shootings in recent

The homicide was the third in
the district of West Bay in the last two weeks and the fifth to happen on Grand Cayman since the beginning of the year. 

Witnesses said they heard several
shots, followed by a pause, then another series of shots on Birch Tree Hill Lane near Capts Joe and Osbert Road. It was
believed more than one suspect was involved.

The victim in the killing was
identified as Damion Ming.

Ming was due in court Friday morning for a mention related to a previous criminal conviction.

His attorney, Nicholas Dixey, informed the court that Ming was deceased. 

Royal Cayman Islands Police did not
immediately report any arrests in connection with the shooting. However, there was a man arrested at the scene.

According to police, that man was wearing an electronic monitoring device and was outside the area of his confinement. He had no direct relation to Thursday’s shooting, Mr. Baines said.  

Huge crowds of on-lookers gathered
around the crime scene late Thursday night; several could be heard openly

Thursday’s death occurred barely
more than 24 hours after the shooting of 25-year-old Alrick Peddie on Willie Farrington Drive.
Mr. Peddie died at the shooting scene.  

Gunfire had claimed the life of
29-year-old Marcos Duran on 11 March in West Bay, but the incident was not
believed to be related to the recent spate of gang violence.

However, a shooting which occurred
less than ten minutes after Mr. Duran was killed was believed to be retaliatory
and possibly related to gang violence in the district.

A 16-year-old boy was hit in the
leg but did survive in the second shooting on 11 March. 

Police search teams were blanketing the West Bay area Friday afternoon and there were reports of several homes in the area being searched by armed police. 

Mr. Baines said those searches were planned and were being conducted at the homes of known gang members.

He said, effectively immediately, all rest days for RCIPS officers had been canceled and that every officer would be working a twelve hour shift. 

Non-essential police services were being closed down temporarily to put more officers on the streets.

“You will not be surprised to hear me say we’re a bit stretched in terms of resources,” Mr. Baines said.

As a result of all the recent shootings, Premier McKeeva Bush has announced plans to address Cayman Islands residents about the issue.

Premier Bush is hosting a public meeting with West Bay residents this Saturday evening (27 March) at John A. Cumber Primary School Hall. The meeting is set for 6pm. 



The scene of the latest homicide in West Bay on Birch Tree Hill Lane.
Photo: Brent Fuller


  1. I am a frequent visitor to the island, and I am saddened to hear of the extreme rise in violent crime over the years, especially the last two months. I was on island when Estella Scott Roberts was found, and the news was shocking to me. Now, when I check the Cayman Compass, I’m surprised when there isn’t a shooting, robbery and now KIDNAPPING!!! The RCIP even downplayed the rise in crime in the media…they are wrong….the situation is bad. I see another man was shot lastnight.
    People need to start coming forward with what they know.With drugs comes guns…if you know someone dealing drugs…tell! If you know someone with a gun…tell!! If you know someone out of work, who all of a sudden has money…tell!!! The RCIP cannot do anything if people stay quiet. Your livelyhood depends on it.
    Visitors will stop coming to Grand Cayman. People will choose another island to buy their dream home.
    I am coming down in April, tickets were booked quite a while ago, truthfully, I’m not as excited as I used to be, and if I hadn’t already purchased the tickets, I probably wouldn’t have chosen Grand Cayman right now.

  2. All this senseless killings is sad and goes to show that there is the young have no value for human life.

    I am from another caribbean island and my main reason for coming to Cayman was to escape the escalating crime which is out of control. The Gov’t cannot control this or maybe refuse to.

    I do not believe that these killings are only drug related. It’s more from the the deteriorating family life where role models and parents are being replaced with the culture from the outside world (mainly new york). No one wants to point blame, but if you listen to the modern music of today, it mostly insinuates violence.

    The call to prayer is a noble one but “God helps those who helps themselves”.
    I beileve the way to curb these criminal acts is to start with the home. Parents need to get involved with their children and stop chasing the mighty “dollar”

  3. Don’t worry everyone. We will all just read this article, comment, complain, commissurate, and then go on about our lives. Then we’ll have another shooting, more violence, more problems. Then more complaining, more news articles, but no action! Let’s get the community together and actually do something. This is a small island, it is not as though people do not know who these people are that are committing these crimes. Single them out. Get rid of them. Send them to jail. Or don’t. Most of you wont. I challenge the whole island to actually become proactive in this problem. Only then will this problem begin to dissapate.

  4. @jhumber
    As a Caymanian I want to thank you for your return trips to our country and hope that you stay with us in the coming years. As a country we’re in very difficult times and I only hope that our repeat ‘customers’ will continue to make us our preferd destination and my fellow Caymanians will continue to make these visitors feel welcome and safe on our shores.

  5. Quote; “We know who’s responsible for the shootings, because people tell us,” Mr. Baines said. “But people telling us doesn’t translate to charges.”

    Doesn’t translate into charges????

    So what DOES translate into charges???? These are shootings between only TWO specific groups, (whom police refer to as “mindless thugs”), on a TINY island!!! And to make it even EASIER for investigators, the Police Commissioner is being told WHO DID THE SHOOTINGS!!!!!

    Could someone please tell me what planet I’m living on?????

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