A Bodden Town gas station employee was shot by a suspected robber Wednesday night, Royal Cayman Islands Police said.
Medsadie “Meddie” Connor, 57, had just left the Lorna’s Texaco station for the night and walked across the street to get into her car where she was attacked.
Now Royal Cayman Islands Police are offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the men believed to be involved.
“It is absolutely imperative that we get the men responsible
for this heinous crime off the streets before someone is killed,” Police Commissioner David Baines said Friday. “That’s why we are issuing the reward in the hope that it may just persuade anyone who
has information, but for whatever reason has not yet come forward, to do the
Police and witnesses said the 15-year employee at the petrol station was jumped by a masked suspect who came from behind some bushes, shot the woman and took her handbag.
“She was shot for … a small amount of cash and, certainly, there was no need for violence,” Mr. Baines said. “This is just senseless, gratuitous … pure evil. There’s no other explanation for it. It was almost as if he got a kick out of inflicting pain, injury and harm.”
Mrs. Connor was shot in the shoulder and in the knee. At press time Thursday she was still in the hospital, but was expected to survive.
Gas station owner Osbourne Bodden’s voice shook early Thursday morning as he described the robbery to the Caymanian Compass.
“He shot her without asking questions, shot her then took her little handbag,” Mr. Bodden said. “Enough is enough. I don’t know who is going to wake up and realise we’re no longer dealing with minor criminals here.
“We’re getting to the point now where there’s almost no sense saying you can live here and do business here.”
Mrs. Connor’s shooting is the second incident in the past two weeks that involved an armed, masked man attacking an unsuspecting person, apparently at random, in what Commissioner Baines believes is a disturbing pattern.
On 29 June, Cayman Islands Brewery worker Kemar Golding, 28, was shot near a jerk chicken stand in Red Bay. Mr. Golding lost his eye in the shooting, but did survive.
“Cash handling locations such as garages, restaurants, bars and fast food places are being targeted, often at the end of the night when it’s believed there will be a degree of cash to hand,” Mr. Baines said. Indeed, police said suspects may have believed Mrs. Connor had cash takings from the Texaco station with her when she was attacked. She did not. Kemar Golding was emptying a trash bag into a waste container when he was attacked.
Mr. Baines said there is a degree of planning involved in these types of robberies, but they are largely crimes of opportunity.
“Quite often it could have been any garage any fast food restaurant … if a person was going past one location and there were too many people, they would go to another place,” Mr. Baines said. “It is a worrying escalation. Shooting a young man in the eye when he has no money or a 57-year-old woman for a small sum of personal cash – is that what Cayman has become?
“While we cannot definitively link the two incidents, the blasé manner in which people were shot, combined with the time and the modus operandi of the crimes, suggest that they may be linked,” Mr. Baines said.
Shortly after Mrs. Connor was shot across the street from the Texaco, witnesses spotted a beat up blue or gray Honda leaving the area with two men inside. Police were seeking the vehicle and said officers would be conducting road checks around Grand Cayman over the next few days trying to locate it.
According to witnesses, the suspect acted alone in the robbery and shooting of Mrs. Connor. However, it was believed a second person was involved – possibly as the get-away driver.
At least two, possibly three shots were fired at the 57-year-old gas station clerk.
Mr. Bodden said he could think of no reason why Mrs. Connor would have fought against an armed robbery suspect.
“Trust me, she’s not going to struggle,” he said. “She just would have given up the bag. We go over this … over and over … at the store. We tell the employees to just let a robber take the money.
“There was no reason at all to shoot that lady.”
Police ask anyone who has information in the Bodden Town shooting to call the nearest police station, the RCIPS confidential tip line at 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers at 800-8477.