Arrest in nightclub killing

Progress made in case one year later

An arrest was made Wednesday in
connection with a brazen nightclub shooting last September that stunned the
Cayman Islands.

The 24-year-old suspect in the
shooting, who was believed to be in lock-up at the time of his arrest, is in
police custody in connection with the death of Carlo Webster.

Mr. Webster died on 10 September,
2009, after he was shot in the head on the dance floor of the former Next Level
Nightclub.

The suspect, who is from the West
Bay area, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder. He is not being
identified by the Caymanian Compass because he has not been formally charged in
the case.

According to witness reports,
approximately 100 people were inside the club when shots rang out around
1.30am.

“The first shot sounded like
someone dropped a bottle,’ said one man whom the Compass did not identify at
the time in order to protect him from retaliation. “I saw the body drop and the
second shot went off.

“I’m still speechless;
sleepless…I’ve never seen anyone get shot in front of me, especially not in Cayman.’

Mr. Webster, 36, was a West Bay
resident. A second man was grazed by gunfire or by a ricochet during the
scramble inside the club. He survived and police believed he was not the target
of the shooting.

The shooting led the club’s former
owner, Harry Lalli, to close the place down in late 2009. It has since reopened
as a newly designed nightclub with security enhancements and additional guards
both inside and outside the club.

Five days after the shooting at
Next Level, police were investigating another shooting in West Bay that was
believed to be in retaliation for Mr. Webster’s death.

Shots were reported near the
intersection of Watercourse Road and Nettie Rivers Lane around 8pm on 15
September.

Officers responded shortly after
the gunfire was reported. However, police said they did not find anyone at the
location by the time they arrived.

Later in the evening, RCIPS was
able to get in touch with the victim in the shooting who had apparently
suffered a graze wound to his arm. The 26-year-old male said he was fired upon
as he was driving his car out of Nettie Rivers Lane onto Watercourse Road. No
arrests were reported.

The violent death of Mr. Webster,
coupled with the killing later in the year of Fabian Reid and a number of
robberies of George Town businesses, led to calls for stricter sentencing
guidelines for gun-related crimes. It is understood that this was one of the
recommendations a private-sector committee made to Governor Duncan Taylor in a
report it submitted on crime issues earlier this year.

Currently, the Cayman Islands have
a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence for firearms convictions. That sentence
can be reduced to seven years in cases where exceptional circumstances apply.

“Obviously a lot of thought has to
go into it, but when we’ve got a shooting that happens in a nightclub with 150
people inside including ten experienced security officers – it’s a bit of a
cause for concern, I think,” then-Chamber of Commerce President Stuart Bostock
said.

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