Cayman Islands prosecutors reviewing a deadly January shooting by police have ruled that no charges will be filed against any of the officers involved.
The decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions follows a months-long review into the arrest of Jamaican ex-convict Norval Barrett by Bermudian police officers who conducted an independent review of the incident. Police Commissioner Derek Byrne requested the review by the Bermuda police to avoid any perception of bias within the RCIPS.
The officers involved in the shooting have returned to active duty, Commissioner Byrne said.
The matter will be turned over to the Coroner’s Court for an inquest.
Barrett, 34, was shot and killed during an incident involving RCIPS armed units in the Windsor Park area of George Town. The Jan. 6 shooting is believed to be the first fatal shooting of a criminal suspect by an RCIPS officer since at least the 1980s, though department officials could not be certain whether it was the first such incident in the department’s 100-plus year history.
Barrett was an illegal immigrant in the Cayman Islands and had been convicted of robbery here in early 2011.
Mr. Byrne said the Jamaican national was being sought on an arrest warrant the morning he was killed.
According to previous police accounts of the incident, Barrett left a residence on Theresa Drive with a firearm in his possession. Mr. Byrne said armed officers fired “a number of shots” and injured the suspect. He was transported to hospital and pronounced dead at 6:16 a.m. on Jan. 6, police said.
Mr. Byrne said at the time that he could not confirm whether the suspect fired any shots at police. The firearm recovered by police at the scene was loaded, Mr. Byrne said.
Just before Christmas, the RCIPS put out a public warning regarding Barrett, who was sentenced in 2012 to 12 years in prison for a robbery at the Shedden Road Esso station on Aug. 18, 2010. His sentence was later reduced to nine years by the Court of Appeal.
It is not clear when he completed his sentence, but Barrett was apparently deported from Cayman after he was released from prison. The RCIPS reported during the holiday period that he was believed to be back on island illegally.