Latest victims identified
Police are rounding up gang members in Cayman in response to this week’s spate of killings.
Chief Superintendent John Jones said police had started arresting people with gang affiliations on Monday and currently had four people in custody.
Four young men have died in gang-related killings since Tuesday, 13 September.
The latest killing happened on Monday night in Cranbrook Drive, off Crewe Road in George Town, where two men were shot, one fatally, after they were ambushed, police said.
Police identified the gunshot victim who survived Monday night’s shooting as 22-year-old Keith Montique. Chief Superintendent Jones said police could not formally release the name of the other man who died in the ambush because his family had not identified his body by late Monday morning, but he has been identified locally as 18-year-old Jason Christian.
Police said the teen died from a gunshot wound to the head. He was found in the driver’s seat of a white Toyota LiteAce van in Cranbrook Drive after a wounded Mr. Montique staggered to a police car that was answering an unrelated incident nearby at Birchwood Drive.
As he was being taken to hospital in the police car, he told the police officer his friend had also been shot.
Mr. Jones, at a press briefing Monday, said the teenager was still alive when police found him, but died very soon afterwards.
Police found a loaded revolver inside the white van. It had not been fired. Police officers also recovered at least 10 spent shells from the scene.
Mr. Montique, who, among his other wounds, suffered an ear injury after he was shot in the head, underwent emergency surgery at the Cayman Islands Hospital Monday night and was airlifted overseas Tuesday.
Medical staff described his condition as “serious, but stable”.
He said Mr. Montique had told police that he and Mr. Christian had gone into Cranbook Drive to visit a premises there, but when they got to the location, the person they were looking for was not there. “After that, it would appear that a gunman approached from bush and fired several shots at Mr. Montique and his friend, who attempted to drive away,” Mr. Jones said.
All four victims who have died this week were shot in the head, Mr. Jones said.
“To have four murders in such a short period of time is unprecedented for the Cayman Islands,” the chief superintendent said.
Police had been seeking the white van in relation to an armed robbery at the Tortuga liquor store in Pasadora Place during the evening rush hour on Thursday, 15 September. Mr. Jones said the suspects in that robbery did not get away in the white van, but it had shown up in the police’s line of inquiry into the robbery.
Police said Monday night’s shooting may be related to the three killings in West Bay, but said it was too early to say definitively if that was the case. “There are connections between the individuals who were victims of this shooting and with certain people affiliated to gangs or groups in the West Bay area,” Mr. Jones said.
“Given the timing, so close to the other three shootings that we’ve had, we think there is a strong possibility that it may be connected,” he added.
For more on this story please pick up Wednesday’s Caymanian Compass.