Teenager shot dead

| 04/01/2009

(CNS): Before the year had barely begun Cayman witnessed its first murder victim of 2009 after a seventeen year old man was shot dead on Saturday night. Another man was also wounded and is now in a critical condition in hospital. The shooting took place outside the Shir Reynolds Nightclub in George Town at around 10:30 pm.

Police said that the 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from a member of the public reporting that they had heard shots fired on Eastern Avenue. Officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service responded to the call and when arriving at the scene they found that 17-year-old Jerome Christopher Alexander Russell of George Town had been shot and had collapsed not far from the Shir Reynolds nightclub.

The man was pronounced dead and while officers were at the crime scene a second victim arrived at the hospital suffering from a gun shot wound. That 22-year-old male gun shot victim had  been taken to the hospital by a private vehicle, police said. His condition is currently said to be critical but stable.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Kim Evans, said that this is an extremely serious incident which has left one man dead and one in a critical condition. “We have a number of detectives working on the case who would like to hear from anyone with information about the incident. A young man has lost his life, and it’s important that if people have information they come forward. All information will be treated in the strictest of confidence,” Evans added.

Police also reported that during the immediate processing of the scene in the aftermath of the shooting two other men aged 28 and 21 had to be arrested for obstructing police after refusing to comply with instructions to leave the cordoned area. Police said that one man ran into the crime scene and had to be restrained by officers.

Scenes of crime officers are still processing the crime scene, a number of statements have been taken and the major incident room has been opened at George Town Police Station. A post mortem is being arranged for the deceased. Until formal identification has taken place and all next of kin have been informed police will not be in a position to name the victim.

The immediate area around the crime scene and a wider area which may hold important evidence remains restricted to pedestrians and vehicles at this time. The RCIPS apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks everyone for their cooperation and patience.

The first murder of 2009, on only the third day of the year, follows a yearin which the highest number of murders in Cayman’s history was recorded. According to records there were seven murders in 2008, with victims ranging in age from 18-47 and from all walks of life. The victims list included one Swiss, a Canadian and five Caymanians.

The first killing in 2008 occurred on 21 January when 18-year-old Josh Hooker was shot in his house in George Town while his two-year-old son was home with him. The child was not harmed. On 8 February the body of 40-year-old Swiss national Frederic Bise was found in the boot of his own car which had been set alight. No one has been charged with either murder.

Aaron William Berry, who was 23, died after being stabbed in the throat outside the Everglo Bar in Bodden Town during a fight. Police charged Tonie Miguel Rodriguez (20) whose case then generated much controversy when he was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter.

In May two shocking and brutal murders occurred. The first was around midnight on 17 May when Brian Rankine (20) was the victim of a vicious machete attack. His mutilated and naked body was found in a car park at McField Lane in George Town. Caymanian William McLaughlin has been charged with his murder and is due to appear in court this month.

Then on 20 May the body of Canadian national Martin Gareau, 47, who also suffered a brutal attack was found in his home in Beach Bay. Police arrested and charged Josue Perez-Carrillo, a Honduran national with the murder.

Kelly’s Bar in West Bay was the scene of Mark Jefferson’s murder when he was killed on 11 July. The 23 year old was shot three times, and although one local man was arrested in connection with the case no charges were laid.

Then on 10 October the entire Caymanian community was shocked to the core when the body of Estella Scott-Roberts, communications manager for Cable & Wireless and an advocate for women’s rights, was found inside her own burnt-out car in the area of Barkers Point. Two Jamaican nationals, Larry Prinston Ricketts and Kirkland Henry, have since been charged with her murder and are due to appear in court next on 7 January.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    They need realize that cayman is small and needs to be contolled of the crowding in cayman…. I am sick of this!

  2. Anonymous says:

    shaun i was just wondering what you are now thinking following the recent seizure of a canoe and arrest of those persons on board last saturday night? As an inquisitive onlooker i am also curious to know who those naive senior officers you had referred to, because maybe they should join you.

  3. Twyla M Vargas says:


    You know who is to be blamed for these kind of killings? 

    Those of us who feel we live in a different world here in Cayman, and it cant happen to them.

    Those who say I am not getting involved an telling the police anything its not my business.

    Those of us who say I only go from church to home its not my business.

    Those who have teen age children living in their homes and not monitoring their whereabouts, and friends.

    Those of us who feed, clothe, and shelter your teen and do not tell them to GET A JOB.

    Those who allow teens to come into your house all hours of the night while you are a sleep.

    Especially, those who know about Guns, Drugs, Rapists, and the list goes on and we say IT IS NOT MY BUSINESS.

    Crime is a Cancer, It will get you sooner or later if you are not watchful.

    The police do have many faults, like not responding quick enough to calls and not responding at all.    Also asking too many questions and not dispatching same time.   Officers should be dispatched as soon as they get the Location and nature of the crime.  Then 911 can continue to ask questions.  But the police should not be blamed  when certain things happen that we know about it and continue to play the KNOW BUT NOT TELLING GAME.  It is a dangerous one and can be just like Russian Roulett.   Where is the next bullit going.

    Believe it or not its going to get worse, and the blame is everyone who play the KNOW AND WONT TELL GAME.  Wait and you will see…………………  Being afraid Yes, there is nothing wrong with that but let your consiousness be your guidance.  Blessed.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Don Quay, you state that the police is not responsible for the flow of guns into the country and that Customs is, well let me fill you in on some of the inside workings and why Customs can do so much.

    Some years ago Derek Haines of the RCIP removed the power of the Custom Officer Task Force who were doing a tremendous job in controlling the importation of guns and drugs into this country.  He ensured that the customs task force no longer carried guns, or even wore protective gear in the event they are in a situation on the water or at a gateway port that required them to be protected.  Custom officers go out with the police on these runs and they are not protected, as they do not have the gear any longer to protect themselves.

    Custom officers are severely underpaid and under appreciated and poorly protected in this country so tell my then why is it that they must continue to put their lives on the line everyday without the proper protection and authority to do so?  If I was a custom officer I would never place myself in a position to be harmed whilst doing my job without the proper protection.  When we address this problem and give the Custom personnel the protection to enforce the laws better then we will be a much better postion.

    The RCIP has the resources to the tune of $4million + of our hard earned tax paying dollars to do the job of policing the country for these types of crimes.  The heads of the RCIP have wasted this money and we still don’t have the proper police protection today because there is so much corruption by the foreign cops in the RCIP (and that goes for those with Status as well); that it is out of control.  We don’t have to say it, as the media reports it regularly via the papers, talk shows etc.

    Customs need to be properly aligned with protective measures and the authority to do the job they were once doing before Derek Haines pulled the rug from under them and left them open.  Don’t believe me go check it out for yourselves, ask any senior custom officer(s),and here what they have to say.

  5. Anonymous says:


    I have to disagree with you that these criminals are new to the streets of Cayman or the alliances are new. They are the same ones that functioned, prospered and went unconvicted when you were serving. If you honestly think that the officers that worked hard when you were serving  no longer do so then you must hold them in utter contempt. Do you think that because you left, everyone else gave up the ghost. Well they didn’t. They still work hard to get convictions – but with no witnesses or poor witnesses, a lack of forensics and absolutely no CCTV – convictions are as hard as they were in your day. Poor practices like contemporaneous interviewing only add to the burden. As do the really lazy officers that no one ever addresses and never did, especially when you served. (not blaming you).

    The majority of the guns here came in under your watch, not in the last 3 years. That is evidenced by the quality of the guns recovered. You yourself recovered an AK 47. And there was still evidence that there were more. So the fact that military high powered rifle ammunition was recovered should not really be a shock. Also the  fact that recoveries are taking place at the ports of entry indicate that there has been a removal of firearms from the streets and that the criminals don’t  have the numbers of guns that they are given credit for. If they did they would not need to keep trying to bring them in. With regards the borders, there has been an erosion of the marine unit – which is being addressed with the purchase of new boats. Maybe now the new toys are here there might be some recruits forthcoming – after all who wants to be in a marine unit where the boats are constantly broken. Hardly a description of a service awash with Government funding.

    You keep moaning about the fcat that DTF did security duties. This was after an incident that rocked the whole Country.  DTF provided reassurance to the very heart of Government. How is that a bad thing. Itstopped them from potentially making some very bad decisions that could have changed the way Cayman was regarded Internationally. It was not as if DTF were catching a canoe a week before that. In the three years since you left, DTF have not been relegated to messing with motorists. They are doing the same as they did when you were serving, however there has been a road safety strategy that is conducted by the same officers that did it in your time – but probably more effective now – because managers were made accountable. After all any lives lost on the road are unnecesary and isn’t saving life a primary duty, no matter how it is saved or from what?

    I am no great fan of the administration, but if you clearly had great ideas and a will to change then you should have stayed and tried to effect change, as others have done. As a senior experienced officer is it any surprise that your place was filled by a less experienced junior officer, who maybe just doesn’t have your knowledge. Whose fault is that? Stop trying to finger the blame when it was you who made the choice to leave. No one forced you out. I respected you as a serving officer and wished you had stayed – but as you didn’t please don’t carry on this "I told you so" blame game. If you had such foresight then you should have stayed or better still, come back. After all the person you blame the most has gone, and if his Deputy is so nervous and fearful then you should have no problem in positively effecting change. Please remove your rose tinted glasses, because it was not all as good as you are making out before 2005.

  6. Don Quay says:

    I’m not sure how the police force is responsible for the death of this youngster.

    Let’s not forget that somebody has chosen to take anothers life.  Somebody acted in their own free will to kill another human being and that is not the fault of the police.

    In addition, the police do not control the flow of guns into this country, that is the reponsibility of Customs officials.

    I’m not sure how a crime like this could be prevented by the police.  It can only besolved and they need the support of the public to do so.

    No doubt this is another petty fued which will not end and further underlines how Cayman is falling to the levels upheld amongst the region as one of the worst areas in the world for murder.  When people stop valuing life to the point where they are willing to take one, there is something wrong with the culture. Not the Police.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is a sad turn of events when the motorists have to endure the ever watchful eye of the RCIPS standing at junctions checking our licence coupons while the traffic behind his back snarls up and guns and drugs are probably being purchase a few streets over from where he is standing.

    I agree the RCIPS is, for the most part useless they have forgotten what policing is about.  You cannot police from the inside of a patrol car!

  8. Annymous says:

    I agree with Shaun, I know him and I went to school with him and I know he was a great cop when he worked in the RCIP.  But now if I had to choose a life saving option of calling the RCIP for help and assistance or death, the way I personally feel about the RCIP I would be much better of choosing death.  I will never call them for anything in the future, as they are useless.  The few good officers remaining such as (Kurt Walton, Henry McField, Marlon & Martin Bodden) that are left in the RCIP are so overworked and underpaid they are scarcely seen.  It will not be long before they chuck them out too and replace them with a bunch of ignorant, unprofessional and corrupt persons from other jurisdictions that have imported their ways into the force.



  9. Anonymous says:



    Well said!!!!!


    Some one has to open their mouths and stop hiding behind the curtain! that we

    as Civilians can see  thru.


    Well Said , Maybe you are one that should go back in the  Police Force,


    Thanks for your efforts in trying to open certain peoples ! Eyes.


  10. Shaun Ebanks says:

    The increase in Homicides and other serious crimes that the Cayman Islands have been experiencing for the past 24 months or so, does not come as no surprise to me as a former senior officer of the RCIPS.

    Myself and the other committed officers who choose to resign, retire early, or who did not have their contracts renewed back then, knew all along that it would be a negative end result of this supposedly "Elite Police Administration" thatformed in mid – late 2005.

    This administration who became "awashed in government funding" provided by the PPM, failed to continue interdiction efforts at our borders by dismantling the Cayman Islands only strong defence DTF (Drugs Task Force) for approximately one year, which allowed firearms and drug smugglers to enter the jurisdiction unchallenged 24/7. After two plus years onwards of messing with motorists with minor traffic violations, which is just about the time expected for new criminal alliances to be formed and now emerge with a vengeance, we now have record numbers of serious crimes involving illegal firearms today, much of which is related to illegal drugs.

    Both the Commander in Chief and his Deputy Chief of Operations, followed closely by a few naive senior cohorts, were totally fooled by the calm of serious crimes in 2006, believing that it was the result of their so called policing strategies. In actuality, the two major "Crime Bosses" that were responsible for 80% of the serious crimes shortly before and after Hurricane Ivan, were taken out of commission by the previous underfunded police administration, thereby giving the new administration the sense of sailing in calm waters for the voyage ahead. 

    Now what are the negative end result of this "Elite Police Administration today" ????

    A dismissed Commander in Chief, a Deputy Commander in Chief who appears nervous/fearful to become the new Commander, the naive cohorts who followed them now wants to abandon the ship (most now applying for the "one" vacant Deputy Chief Immigration Officer (Enforcement) position as well as other positions in the private sector) and a demoralized police service which very few in the public have little or no confidence in. 

    I’m reliably informed that illegal firearms are in such abundance on the streets of the Cayman Islands today that it’s like buying a Ganja spliff or a rock of crack Cocaine on the street corners. Case in point, five firearms recovered with additional military high powered rifle magazines/ammunition seized by H.M Customs in a refridgerator at the C.I. Port Authority  warehouse, several weeks ago.

    It should be carefully noted that law enforcement best detection averages based on appropriate funding, sound intelligence, training, logistics, manpower and a well defined and concerted effort, will normally allow the agency to detect maybe 25-35% of the contraband smuggled. Therefore, think about the 65-75% that will be undetected and you will appreciate the easy access to illegal firearms and drugs. However, I always maintain that with a high visibility and concerted effort in fighing real crime, the drug and firearm smugglers would additionally be seriously affected by the seizure of their assets including by "civil asset forfeiture," thereby making our overall sucess rate more in the acceptable range of 65-75%. The reality is, never in our lifetime will we have a 100% sucess rate, that’s wishful thinking. 

    This most recent murder, I’m afraid this is just the "tip of the iceberg" for 2009. We will likely see much more of this in the months to come. I hate to sound pessimistic but given all that has happened in the RCIPS and the country as a whole, it’s difficult to be optimistic at times like these.

    I sincerely wish Detective Inspector Kim Evans and the rest of the investigators best of luck in solving this murder and offer prayers of the safety for law enforcement in the execution of their challenging duties ahead.


    Shaun Ebanks


  11. Anonymous says:

    My God, who would ever believe that this news article was written about the Cayman Islands.