A security guard was shot twice during a Saturday night armored truck robbery outside the Foster’s Food Fair-IGA Airport grocery store in George Town.
The guard, 51, underwent surgery overnight Saturday for bullet wounds in his arm and leg and was expected to survive.
The suspects involved got away with a “good amount” of cash being collected by the truck, according to Foster’s Managing Director Woody Foster. However, Mr. Foster said the money is insured and it was the furthest thing from his mind when considering what might have happened in the incident.
“We’re just amazed that only the guard was shot,” Mr. Foster said. “A number of shots were fired. It was extremely busy at the store, which is the really frightening part. It was a lot of [gunshot] shells spent in a very crowded place.
“This really could have been a lot worse.”
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said the robbery attempt occurred around 7:10 p.m. Saturday. Typically, Saturday evenings are among the busiest times of the week for the store.
Police said two security guards were protecting the armored truck, but only one suffered gunshot injuries. Both were taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital Saturday following the shooting.
The second guard was not injured in the incident, but was “a bit shaken,” said RCIPS Chief Inspector Frank Owens. That guard was checked out and later released from hospital.
No arrests were immediately reported.
Mr. Foster said his businesses have not been exempt from criminal activity in the past decades, but he acknowledged it had been “a long time” since a serious incident like this occurred on a Foster’s property. He said new security measures would have to be put in place in the wake of the robbery, but indicated there was no foolproof way to protect against this kind of activity.
He said he knew his staff members would be scared by what happened and that “no one would want to work that shift” on Saturday nights.
“All of our staff are going to be nervous,” he said. “We have a lot of girls that walk home at night. It just puts staff on edge.”
While the staff might have been upset, store customers were seemingly less so. Mr. Foster said many continued to shop on Saturday night after the robbery had occurred. He also commended the quick response of the RCIPS, ambulance services and the armored truck company to the incident. “It’s just amazing, human nature; people came together and did what they could to help. Nobody was giving the police a hard time.”
The Saturday night armored car robbery was the second such attempt to occur within the past two months.
RCIPS officers said a gunman opened fire on an armored vehicle during a Feb. 20 robbery attempt on Eastern Avenue.
A guard was struck in that incident when shots were fired around 6:30 p.m. while the vehicle was picking up cash from a money transfer business in that area. The security company employee’s protective vest deflected the gun shots.