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.