Premier Wayne Panton has said he has requested an emergency briefing with all Members of Parliament and Police Commissioner Derek Byrne following Friday morning’s shooting which left one dead and five others in hospital.
“These shootings are shocking, unacceptable and given that some of the victims appear to simply be bystanders, it reflects a risk to everyone in the country. We cannot have gun violence going unchecked,” Panton said in a statement, following queries from the Cayman Compass on the shooting and spike in gun crime.
One of the five hospitalised victims in Friday morning’s incident is believed to be in critical condition. That incident happened at Vic’s Bar on Seymour Drive at 1:45am.
Governor Roper, in the statement, said he, too, was “greatly shocked by last night’s gun attack at Vic’s Bar in George Town resulting in the death of one person, one person in a critical condition and four others injured. Any loss of life is tragic. Our prayers and condolences go out to the family of the murdered victim and all those who were injured.”
He urged calm as the investigation continues.
“The RCIPS have my full support and that of the UK. I ask the public to remain calm and provide any information that may help the Police with their enquiries.”
Friday morning’s shooting came on the heels of another fatal shooting last Friday on Martin Drive. The victim, Mark Andre Ebanks, a 36-year-old man of George Town, succumbed to his injuries from that incident. A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Three others were wounded in that incident.
Panton lamented that “This is not just a police issue or a national security issue… This is a problem that affects everyone in our society. People should not be afraid to go about their daily lives in fear of becoming victims of this sort of heinous behaviour.”
The premier urged those with any information on these incidents to come forward.
“We must take a zero tolerance approach to any crime, especially gun crime. I urge anyone with any information on either of the shootings to share their information with the police,” he said.
Roper also strongly condemned the use of guns in any situation.
“To fire weapons indiscriminately putting innocent members of the public in great danger cannot be tolerated. An investigation is under way and I have full confidence in the Police Commissioner and RCIPS to bring those responsible to justice as quickly as possible,” Roper said.
Panton extended condolences to the family of the deceased and wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
He said Friday’s briefing will be followed by an emergency National Security Council meeting to address the increasing use of illegal guns in the jurisdiction.
A further update will be provided to the public outlining a course of action that has been agreed.