At least 15 shots were fired at a home in George Town’s Scranton neighborhood early Saturday morning, including one that hit the mattress of a sleeping resident in what police said was an attempted gang retaliation. One man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the shootings.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service received two reports of shots being fired early Saturday, one on Myles Lane in Scranton and an earlier shooting in the vicinity of a Mary Street bar.
Police said it appeared the shooters from the bar followed their intended victim to the home on Myles Lane and opened fire.
No one was hurt in either incident, but Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said the two shootings caused officers concern about a “dramatic escalation” in gang tensions on the island.
“The indiscriminate shooting at this residence shows an utter disregard for life, and those responsible for it are a clear danger to the community,” Mr. Byrne said. “Such firearm violence cannot be tolerated, and we are responding firmly to the threat posed.”
Following two police operations involving CID detectives, firearms units, K-9 and the Air Operations Unit Tuesday, police arrested a 24-year-old man from West Bay on suspicion of attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm in connection with Saturday’s shooting incidents.
Saturday’s gunfire comes in the wake of another shooting in late April in which a man and woman were injured on Eastern Avenue in the vicinity of Bananas Restaurant and Lounge. Both victims in that incident survived, and a man was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
The first report of gunfire on Saturday came around 2:30 a.m. in the vicinity of the Roof Top Bar on Mary Street. The second report came a short while later from the home on Myles Lane.
According to a police report: “A man who had been at the Roof Top Bar that evening encountered three men known to him and attempted to elude them, but they followed him. The man then came down the staircase and jumped over the railing of the second floor, falling on a parked car below.
“The three men pursued him from the bar as he ran down the street and fired what he believed to be a gunshot in his direction. The man ran all the way to a residence on Myles Lane in Central George Town.
“When there, the man met his friend in the yard of the residence; a silver Honda then came by with the three men inside the vehicle who were earlier pursuing the man at the Roof Top Bar. The men in the vehicle opened fire on the two men in the yard, who ran and were not injured.”
Police were asked about the shooting over the weekend by Cayman Compass reporters, but did not return requests for comment until a Tuesday press release was issued by the department. Police said “sensitivities surrounding the criminal investigation” prevented them from releasing details until Tuesday.
At one point during the initial response to the Roof Top Bar, a police officer’s weapon was accidentally discharged. The weapon was not aimed at anyone and no one was injured, according to police statements. That incident is also being investigated, police said.