A Cayman Islands musician known as “The Calypso Cowboy” was shot outside his George Town home Monday night.

Dexter Bodden was still listed in critical condition at the Cayman Islands Hospital Tuesday afternoon having suffered a gunshot wound to his lower abdomen, according to medical personnel.

Police said Mr. Bodden was attacked outside the home near the intersection of Avon Way and Eastern Avenue shortly after arriving there around 6:30 p.m.

“While still in his vehicle, the victim was approached by a lone male who shot him,” a statement from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service noted. The RCIPS did not identify the shooting victim in its statement, but the Cayman Compass confirmed Mr. Bodden’s identity via numerous sources familiar with the incident.

The shooter fled and had not been arrested by press time Tuesday.

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Mr. Bodden is a well-known and respected musical talent both in Cayman and abroad. He played for more than two decades in the Nashville, Tennessee area, where he performed under the name “The Calypso Cowboy.”

In a WSMV-TV report from 2010, fellow Tennessee musician and friend Lee Akers said audience members sometimes were heard to say that Mr. Bodden sang country music legend Merle Haggard’s songs better than Mr. Haggard did. “It might make Merle mad, but he is that good,” Mr. Akers told the TV station shortly before Mr. Bodden departed Nashville to head back home.

Dexter Bodden was shot inside his car Monday night. – PHOTO: Ken Silva

Long-time Cayman Islands musician Burmon Scott confirms that account.

“I had a job with him on the beach one time and they told us ‘no country music,’” Mr. Scott said. “But a guy came up to him later and said ‘would you be able to play Merle Haggard?’ So he started playing him. I thought we were going to get in trouble, but he played him.

“He’s a country [music] man, just standing up there and singing with his guitar,” Mr. Scott said of Mr. Bodden.

According to a 2013 account by another Cayman musician, George “Barefoot Man” Nowak, Mr. Bodden is not all country.

“Dexter mixes his repertoire with a dash of reggae and a heavy dose of calypso, creating (as he calls it), Coca Music,” Mr. Nowak wrote at the time. “Those of us lucky enough to live in Cayman during the early to mid-80s, the prosperous ‘good old days,’ will well remember Dexter’s self-penned local hit ‘The Goldfield,’ a memorable Gordon Lightfoot-style ballad about the original Caymanian turtle schooner Goldfield, which now sadly rests on the bottom of the North Sound.”

Mr. Bodden still maintains an active performance schedule around Cayman, including regular Friday night gigs at Morritt’s Tortuga resort and regular performances at Da Station Bar.

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