Police investigate suspected gang retaliation shootings

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is investigating two separate reports of shots being fired in George Town early Saturday that were thought to be part of a gang retaliation incident.

No reports of arrests had been made by midday Tuesday.

The first report relating to the incident came in around 2:30 a.m. Saturday in the vicinity of the Roof Top Bar on Mary Street. The second report came a short while later from a home on Myles Lane in George Town’s Scranton neighborhood.

According to a police report on the incident: “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.”

At least 15 shots were fired at the home on Myles Lane and police forensic teams recovered several spent shells.

One of the bullets struck a mattress where one of the residents inside the home were sleeping.

“This incident reflects a dramatic escalation of tensions and is believed to be gang-related,” Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said. “The indiscriminate shooting at this residence shows an utter disregard for life and those responsible for it are a clear danger to the community. Such firearm violence cannot be tolerated, and we are responding firmly to the threat posed.”

At one point during the initial response to the Roof Top Bar, an accidental discharge of a police officer’s weapon occurred.  The weapon was not aimed at anyone and no one was injured. That accidental discharge is also being investigated.

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