Break-in suspect was being monitored

Man shot to death by homeowner

In the latest development to a story that has engulfed the Cayman Islands in a public debate, the Caymanian Compass has learned that a burglary suspect who was shot to death early Thursday morning was being electronically monitored by the local criminal justice system. 

Sources told the Compass that the man had taken the monitoring device off his ankle before the burglary occurred. However, law enforcement officials did not confirm or deny those statements immediately.

A statement released by the 911 Emergency Communications Centre later in the day read as follows: “The Emergency Communications and Electronic Monitoring Department confirms that the person who was shot and killed in an alleged burglary on Liguinea Circle in George Town in the early morning hours of Thursday 22nd July 2010 was in fact a client of the Electronic Monitoring Programme.

“At the time of the alleged interrupted burglary, the relevant tracking device was showing as present at another location. Upon becoming aware that the person who had been shot was a client of the Electronic Monitoring Programme, Police attended the other location and recovered the tracking device.

“The deceased client was referred to the Electronic Monitoring Programme by the RCIPS on the 18th of June 2010 under the provisions of the Bail Law.

“The Department has initiated a full investigation to determine under what circumstances the tracking device became detached from the client.”

Royal Cayman Islands Police are still investigating the shooting that occurred around 2am at a home near the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town.

According to Police Inspector Dane Pinnock, a man phoned 911 to report that he had shot an individual who was trying to break into his house at Liguinea Circle.

The man who was shot was taken to hospital in critical condition and Inspector Pinnock said he was later pronounced dead. The man, a 29-year-old, was identified by police as Harryton Rivers.

The man has previously been identified in court proceedings as Harrington Rivers, but his attorney confirmed Thursday that the correct spelling is ‘Harryton’.

Mr. Pinnock said the firearm used in the incident was a licensed firearm.

According to residents in the area near the home, the suspected burglar broke into the house through a window.

Police said the 65-year-old homeowner, awoke to find the man inside his house and fired a single shot, hitting the 29-year-old man in the abdomen.

RCIPS officials said the homeowner, whose wife was also in the house at the time of the break-in, was still being questioned and that the man had not been arrested. 

See the Caymanian Compass on Friday for full details.


  1. People obviously have a right to defend themselves and property but it will also call into question the concept of "reasonable force". If the burgler was simply unplugging a TV when he was shot it will be interesting to see what happens.
    The previous poster is correct in that with the frequency of break-ins seemingly increasing the likelihood of this occurring also increased.
    It is sad on all fronts in reality.

  2. Stealing from a public retail store etc is one thing, but when you break into someones home and violate their privacy, steal their personal belongings and take away their sense of security then is there not an argument to say that you can properly defend yourself? But then again what is reasonable defence. Very sad all around and another thing that is only goignt oe make everyone more nervous.

  3. Unfortunately this probably will mean the next burglar will bring a gun for protection and the inevitable escalation begins.
    Time to re-think deterrent and root cause.

  4. Steve D, in fact, that is not what will happen. These burglars are almost always armed. Have you not noticed the rash of armed robberies occurring in Cayman this year? These criminals have no problem getting firearms illegally. It is the law abiding citizens who may not and do not possess firearms. If more people had firearms in their homes, burglaries would be less likely to occur. This one instance alone will make a potential burglar question if they really want to risk their life for a laptop, cash and a cell phone or two. Let me ask everyone here, what would you do if in the middle of the night someone was breaking into your home? It is dark, you cannot tell if they are armed or not or their intentions and with the armed robberies and murders occurring in Cayman just this year, what would you think? Would you call the Police? And wait the 10 to 15 minutes for them to get there? What could happen to you or your family in the meantime? It is about time that law abiding citizens should be given the right to protect themselves and their families from the growing criminal element in Cayman. It is obvious that the Police and Government can do little to stop it. I say Bravo to the homeowner.

  5. As if to prove my point any further, now there is an article where 3 men broke into another home and pistol whipped the homeowners. Please note that these burglars were ARMED and the homeowners were injured because they had no way to protect themselves. Unlike the homeowner in this story. In one situation, the thieves made off with $3K and the homeowners are in the hospital and in the other, the homeowner is unharmed, has all his property and the burglar is dead. When is society and the Government going to start protecting the law abiding citizens and not the criminals?

  6. I can’t help thinking that if everyone on Grand Cayman had a gun there would be a lot more carnage, sort of like it was in the Wild, Wild West when everyone did have guns.
    Suppose for a minute that if you were caught with an illegal firearm or sold one or imported/smuggled one and did a mandatory 10 year term then maybe a few criminals would think twice before using a firearm to commit a simple break & enter.

  7. How did this homeowner get a gun??

    I know you are all applauding him for shooting a suspected robber but now everyone is going to feel the right to protect their property with arms.

    With the economy in the toilet, the feces is really starting to show.

  8. Can someone tell me how in the world did he manage to take the monitor off in the first place ?! I guess like everything else that was a waste of $$$$$$$$

  9. Statistically, Guns Are Good

    A very wise man named Thomas Jefferson once said: "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."

    In the USA alone, handguns are used for protection against criminals more than 2 million times per year. Thats up to five times more often than theyre used to commit crimes and nearly 128 times the total murders in the US. It is statistically proven that guns can help reduce the amount of crime. Criminals are much less likely to invade a home if they know the owner might blast them into their next lifetime.

    Unfortunately, the USA and global mainstream media does purposely do a very poor job in reporting the countless occasions where disasters have been averted due to the presence of someone using a licensed gun. It would not fit the liberal agenda for these statistics to be public knowledge, because statistics always win when stacked against the emotional argument, which is exactly the side they choose for their arguments.

    Unfortunately, statistics is the name of the game, meaning that there will be unfortunate accidents from time to time where guns are present. However, the same thing can be said for many objects present in our lives, since any tool usage leads to occasional accidents and it can become a weapon in the hands of the wrong person.

    However, it’s virtually impossible to stop criminals from obtaining weapons, so why should it be so hard for educated, even keeled individuals to have the ability to get trained, have our weapons registered/licensed, and be allowed to defend our homes/families against these monsters?

    It’s easy to sit on our pedestals and have liberal attitudes, but…….. God forbid, would anyone still be so opposed to guns if it’s your wife/husband or any family member that was assaulted in your own home in front of your eyes, and you had to helplessly sit and watch? I dont think so……

  10. Steve D, the criminals already have the guns. It is the law abiding citizens that do not. I’m not advocating that everyone go around packing heat. But I think that if someone has no criminal record, takes a firearm safety class, completes a government mandated license class which requires proof of skill with the firearm and then obtains a license from the government, they should be allowed to keep a firearm in their house to protect themselves and their families.

    I agree that tougher penalties for illegal firearms might decrease the crimes committed with them but that will not save the victim that has already been attacked. And so what then is to stop them from breaking in with a knife, crowbar or bat? People are still going to commit crimes with or without illegal firearms. The Police cannot protect you from someone breaking into your house in the middle of the night. Period.

    And crisscross, a "suspected robber"? Why else could someone be crawling though a window of someone else’s house in the middle of the night? To borrow some sugar? C’mon man.

  11. One thing I have always hated is when those who fear guns use that tired old "Wild West" cliche. The murder rates in such wild, gun-packing days was around 1 per 100,000. In some of the Old West towns, it was even lower. Compare that to modern times, and such "gun-free" areas as New York (6 per 100K), Baltimore (37 per 100k), or Washington DC (45 per 100k).

    Also, take a good long look at Kennesaw, GA. 25 years ago, they passed a law requiring the head of every household to own and maintain a firearm. In the 25 years since the passage of the law, there has not been a single resident involved in a fatal shooting, as shooter or victim. This despite the fact that the population has risen from just over 5,000 to almost 30,000 in the same time period.

    So, you worry about the Wild West? I LONG FOR IT. I long for a return to the safety and security of the time when men and women were safe, BECAUSE THEY WERE ARMED! When every person was trusted by the government to protect himself and his loved ones.

    Why allow only those who choose to prey on others the advantage of firearms? Why take from those who choose to obey the law the power to protect themselves?

    It’s high time those questions got answered.

  12. I know it’s not smart to ask the home owners name. But to the guy that shot that burglary suspect dead. Tell me where you drink. I will put down 50 dollars on your bar tab. Have a night of drinks on me.

    I know it wasn’t easy doing what you did.

    Editor’s note: This comment had to be edited for legal reasons.

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