Armed homeowner shoots burglar

Suspect was being electronically monitored

TOParmedLEAD

A man who had been assigned an
electronic monitoring device broke into a home in the George Town area early
Thursday and ended up getting shot by an elderly homeowner inside the house.

The shooting occurred just after
2am Thursday at a home on Liguinea Circle near the Truman Bodden Sports Complex
of the University College of the Cayman Islands.

According to Royal Cayman Islands
Police Inspector Dane Pinnock, a man phoned 911 at 2.04am to report that he had
shot an individual who was trying to break into his house.

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

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

Mr. Pinnock said the weapon used to
shoot Mr. Rivers was a licensed firearm that belonged to the homeowner.

Residents in the area near the home
said the suspected burglar broke into the house through a window after
unscrewing the hurricane shutters.

Police said the 65-year-old
homeowner, who is not being identified by the Caymanian Compass, awoke to find
Mr. Rivers 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. 

It was not believed that the
suspected burglar had a firearm, but police had not confirmed that by press
time.

A Caymanian man who lives on the
same street as the homeowner involved in the shooting, said he felt the
incident was “unfortunate from anyone’s perspective”, but that he supported his
neighbour in taking actions to defend his house and family.

“I think this man was well within
his right to use a firearm to protect his home,” said the man, whose name the
Compass is not printing to protect him from potential retaliation. “I’m glad to
see that, for once, the homeowner wasn’t the one who ended up dead.

“I feel it was an unfortunate
incident from anybody’s perspective. But I’m glad that it ended the way it did
with the ‘bad guy’ being the one to suffer the ill-fate as opposed to the
homeowner.” 

According to information obtained
by the Caymanian Compass, an electronic monitor had been attached to the
burglary suspect’s leg at some point via law enforcement orders, but was not on
him at the time the burglary occurred.

Officials with the Portfolio of
Internal and External Affairs, which is the government agency responsible for
the electronic monitoring programme, confirmed that the individual who was shot
was being monitored.

“At the time of the alleged
interrupted burglary, the relevant tracking device was showing as present at
another location,” 911 Manager Brent Finster said. “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.”

Mr. Finster said Rivers was
referred to the monitoring programme by police under conditions of the Bail Law
on 18 June.

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

The break-in at Liguinea Circle was
just one of several criminal incidents that have occurred on Grand Cayman over
the past 48 hours.

Homeowner pistol-whipped in burglary

Police said a man and his wife were
terrorised by three burglary suspects during a home invasion, which also
happened early Thursday morning.

The incident occurred about
half-an-hour after Rivers was shot to death on Liguinea Circle and there
appeared to be no connection between the two incidents.

According to police reports, about
2.40am Thursday, a man and his wife were within their home in Cypros Road,
George Town, when they were awakened by three intruders.

Police said one of the men had a
handgun and struck the homeowner in the head with the weapon, demanding money.

The suspects, all wearing black
clothing, made off from the house with about $3,000, according to information
obtained by the Caymanian Compass.

The victim sustained slight
injuries as a result of the incident.

No arrests were immediately
reported.

Robbery at shoe shop

Royal Cayman Islands Police were
investigating the broad daylight robbery of a shoe store in West Bay Wednesday.

Detectives said one person, a
23-year-old male, was in custody in connection with the robbery.

The Shoes Best Repair and Variety
store at the corner of Fountain Road and King Road was held up just before noon
Wednesday.

Police said the suspect threatened
the store manager and made off with a small amount of cash. Investigators said
the man was armed with what appeared to be a handgun.

No one was injured in the incident.
The suspect was arrested a short distance away from the robbery scene on
Foremast Close.

Pharmacy burgled

In an unrelated incident, police said
the Valu-Med Pharmacy in central George Town was broken into sometime
overnight. Police were informed of the break-in just before 5am Wednesday.

No word on what, if anything, had
been taken in the break-in. The store had re-opened by Wednesday afternoon.

There were no arrests reported in
connection with the pharmacy burglary. 

Break-in at warehouse

Another burglary was reported at
Cayman Distributors warehouse on Eastern Avenue Wednesday.

It was not certain what time the
storage warehouse was broken into, or what had been taken. The call came into
police around 8am.

No arrests were reported.

TOPArmedhomewonerSTORY

Police perform follow-up investigations at the scene of Thursday morning’s shooting on Liguinea Circle.
Photo: Brent Fuller
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9 COMMENTS

  1. Burglers breaking into people’s homes when they are sleeping will hurt and possibly kill the homeowner, that is certain. And if they survive, they are traumatized for years. While I couldn’t do it myself, I commend the man for shotting the intruder. SET HIM FREE. He has a right to defend himself and his family. Do you think the thief would just say "Please give me your money, thank you …. and leave???" Of course not. Let the poor man out of jail and drop all charges. Prosecute the criminals — not someone who is a victim.

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  2. It is not done lightly to take another human life. Take this from somebody that has an extensive Military background & served with a Regiment that has been at "The Sharp End" of international conflicts for over 4 centuries!

    To the Shooter:-

    At present I know what you are feeling. – It is only natural! However, do not, DO NOT let your conscience ‘sneak up’ on you! That night, you performed valiantly to say the least. Right now, you, your family, your friends and the other law abiding citizens of the Cayman Islands, enjoy the right of filling their lungs again with the air of freedom & safety that graces this beautiful island! Never forget this!!!

    Hopefully, this is the 1st & final time you will ever have to perform this task. Don’t 2nd guess yourself. If you had performed with so much as 1% less effort than you did that night, it would be I and others reading about you, – ‘the casualty’ and your family, weeping, standing over YOUR grave. Rest assured, you are NOT in the wrong! This can not be construed as ‘Excessive Force’… To my understanding, you shot an ARMED (knife wielding) intruder INSIDE your premises twice (… not 15 times) with a registered / licensed fire arm! End of story. – I fail to see ‘the gray area’ here! – In the event this goes to court, rest assured it will be I and others like me that march for your freedom!

    To the Deceased / Assailant’s associates:-

    It is my understanding, the assailant was released from prison not too long ago and recently had his ankle-locator-bracelet removed 24 hours prior to his death… All I can say is thank you for proving the "Repeat Offender’s % Statistic"!!! I do not share a modicum of solace on either of your behalf’s!!!

    Note to all parents: This is what happens if you fail to bring up your children correctly! – And no, Your child did not "have-it-hard" or have a "hard life"… Children / young men in Baghdad – Iraq, Kabul – Afghanistan, Sierra Leone – W. Africa and a dozen other places have "a hard life"! – You are on a civilized, (mostly!) safe Caribbean island, you are expected to behave in a civilized manner! – If not, you will be treated in an uncivilized manner… As an uncivilized individual!!!

    Undoubtedly, the assailant’s associates will be claiming what a ‘God fearing’ and ‘Law Abiding Citizen’ he always was. They will also be looking for a direction to point their fingers in to assign blame… It is here where I will assist them… And suggest they take a long hard look in a mirror!

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  3. SHOOTING A HUMAN BEING IS NOT A GOOD THING BUT UNDER THE CIRCUNTANCES DEFENITLY IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, BECAUSE YOUR LIFE OR FAMILY IS ON THE LINE. I WILL DISCORAGE THE BURGLARS THAT BEFORE THEY TRY TO BREAK-IN IN SOMEONE’S HOME THINK TWICE AND REMEMBER THIS INCIDENT, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT FIND ANOTHER LICENSED FIRE ARM OWNER WHO WILL NOT HESITATE TO USE IT, YOU NEVER KNOW AND YOU DON’T WANT TO BE THERE TO FIND OUT!

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  4. If it is unconscionable for the country to hang some one for first degree murder, it should be unacceptable for someone to kill anyone for breaking in. How can we empower a citizen to kill, when the nation laws prohibit executions. Let the punishment fit the crime. We are all out here dealing with it without a gun!

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  5. If i were in the same position as the person whose home and family were being threatened by an intruder ,i too would do anything to protect them ,you go on about your precious Cayman Islands ,YOU the Caymanians amongst some others have made these islands what they are today ,you have to look at yourselves,instead of thinking you are some special race ,look to help your own islands,stop gangs ,drugs ,try working for a living instead of "just wanting to work enough days to get your beer money " do a real days work and take some pride ,nobody owes you a good life bar yourself ..

    Don’t victimise the people who have helped the islands become the prosperous islands they are today ,without them and people like them this island would be nothing .

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  6. Hey, North – Just to clarify, the biblical admonition is against "murder", not "killing." If you were to peruse the Bible, you would find many crimes for which death was the penalty. Carrying out these sentences would be sort of hard with a prohibition on killing, wouldn’t it? And what on earth does this issue have to do with religion, anyway? The closest to religion I can see in this matter is that every man has a God-given right to defend his home and family, and the government wants to keep you dependent on them for the job. "Hold on, Mr. Burglar, I need to go call the police; would you be a sport and let me call them, then wait for them to show up? Thanks, old chum." Far better to rely on yourself. Without the right to arm yourself, how would you possibly defend any other right you have? Harsh words? An angry scowl perhaps? Personally, I go with the old saying, "Fear the government that fears your guns."

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Comments are closed.