Crowds of people turned out at the Cayman Islands Brewery on Saturday to raise money and show their support for shooting victim Kemar Golding.
Mr. Golding, who was shot in the head in an attempted armed robbery at a jerk stand in Red Bay more than a week ago, is off island receiving medical treatment.
Matthew Leslie of Cayman Islands Brewery, where Mr. Golding works as an assistant brewer, thanked the community for its staunch support of the 28-year-old shooting victim.
Mr. Golding lost his left eye in the shooting and is now fighting to save the sight in his right eye because an infection had set in, Mr. Leslie said.
“He’s in Jamaica right now and is travelling to the United States [Sunday] for more surgery,” he said.
“This is one of the biggest sponsored events, in terms of the number of sponsors, the island has seen,” Mr. Leslie said. Nearly 70 companies sponsored Saturday’s fundraising event at the brewery, donating prizes for draws or supplying food, drinks or entertainment.
“This is what community is all about,” he said, as he thanked members of the public and corporate sponsors for their support of Mr. Golding, who has worked for Cayman Islands Brewery for five years. He also thanked Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin for his efforts in helping to get Mr. Golding, who holds a Jamaican passport, off island for more medical attention.
All the food and drink at the fundraiser were free, but people were asked to make a donation to help pay for Mr. Golding’s overseas medical care and travel and to help his family. By mid-afternoon, several companies had made donations of $500 each and donation boxes were filling up with cash gifts from visitors to the brewery.
Inside the brewery, by the bar where staff were filling glasses of Caybrew for visitors, a life-sized picture of Mr. Golding was covered in written well wishes from friends.
The event, which started around 10am, was crowded throughout the day as people came and went, including a bus-load of men on a stag party, dressed as pirates, complete with the groom dressed in a short wench’s dress and Caybrew underpants.
“This guy made my day,” said Mr. Leslie, as he posed with the soon-to-be groom.
There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the men who shot Mr. Golding.
He was shot during a holdup involving three masked men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, shortly before 11.30pm on 29 June. Mr. Golding had visited the jerk stall beside the Lighthouse School on Shamrock Road and was helping a friend throw away garbage at a rubbish bin behind the stall when they were confronted by the three men.
When Mr. Golding and his friend said they had no money, the gunman opened fire and shot Mr. Golding in the face. The bullet entered at his left eye and exited at the left side of his skull, narrowly missed his brain.
He underwent surgery at the Cayman Islands Hospital. Mr. Leslie said Mr. Golding had attempted to enter the US last week on a doctor’s recommendation but was turned back. He has now secured a US visa to enter America and would travel there from Jamaica on Sunday, Mr. Leslie said.
Anyone with information about the shooting should contact Crime Stoppers on 800-8477(TIPS) or a confidential police hotline on 949-7777.