Cayman officers probe police shooting in Turks and Caicos

Two Royal Cayman Islands Police officers have been dispatched to help investigate a deadly police shooting that occurred Jan. 1 in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

RCIPS officials confirmed Monday that Inspector Joseph Wright would lead the probe into the death of Lavern Smith, 25, of Providenciales.

Local police did not state how long the RCIPS officers would need to stay in Turks and Caicos.

“[The officers] will be there conducting inquiries for the period of time their presence is required by the investigation,” an RCIPS statement read.

Cayman police received similar assistance from Bermudian police last January, following a deadly shooting involving Jamaican national Norval Barrett, who was shot dead by armed officers during a warrant search in Windsor Park.

According to a statement released last week by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, Lavern Jeven Smith died in a shooting on Aviation Drive on New Year’s Day.

“Acting Commissioner of Police, Trevor Botting, has confirmed that officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will be arriving on the Turks and Caicos Islands on Wednesday, Jan. 3 to commence their independent review of the circumstances of the shooting of Mr. Smith on New Year’s Day.”

Turks and Caicos police also noted that one of their officers had been hit by gunfire in the incident. “The police officer is current being treated for his injuries,” the department noted.

Earlier press statements indicated that Mr. Smith was killed during a shoot out with Turks and Caicos police. It was reported that officers were investigating allegations of individuals at that location possessing firearms.

According to Turks and Caicos police reports, one of the suspects at the location was shot during an attempt to arrest him. That man, Mr. Smith, later died due to his injuries.