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A young life wasted – Jeremiah Barnes

Jeremiah Barnes should have been starting school this week.

He would have been five years old and running around the yard playing happily with his friends, not a care in the world.

Instead there will be a spare place in the classroom where Jeremiah should have been sitting if his young life had not been cruelly snatched away from him.

The image of the happy-go-lucky child with a beaming smile from ear-to-ear will be etched in Caymanian minds for years to come.

No one will ever forget his face.

Jeremiah didn’t know what was happening that fateful day when he climbed into the back of his family car.

They were going out for a meal when they pulled into the Hell Esso gas station in West Bay.

Parents Andy Barnes and Dorlisa Ebanks were also in the white Chevrolet Malibu along with his older brother.

As the family pulled up on the forecourt, a gunman appeared from nowhere and opened fire, blasting indiscriminately into the passenger window.

The bullets missed mum, dad and their eldest child Jamaul. Jeremiah wasn’t so lucky.

Schoolchildren around the same age as Jeremiah were playing football at John Cumber Primary School and would have heard the shots ring out.

Paramedics rushed Jeremiah to George Town Hospital, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

His death stunned the whole country. Emotions ran high and a group of around 50 people gathered in the hospital car park looking for revenge against the gunman.

The police operation that followed was thorough, determined to get their man. Police Commissioner David Baines appealed for calm and urged would-be vigilantes to “leave it in our hands”.

But after yesterday’s acquittal of Devon Anglin it appears they haven’t.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Charles Kennett (Retired) said after the verdict “I am very sad for Jeremiah’s parents, Dorlisa and Andy Barnes, with this not guilty verdict.

“They witnessed the tragic murder of their beautiful 4-year-old son, Jeremiah, and have always been totally adamant that Devon Anglin, a man whom they knew extremely well, was the person who fired the gun at them at the Hell Gas Station.

“The corroborating evidence of enhanced CCTV images, gunshot residue, changing clothes and showering immediately after the murder were insufficient for the learned judge to convict.”

“I cannot speak for the Commissioner of Police, as I am no longer employed to the RCIPS, but I doubt that he will be re-opening the inquiry, particularly as he commended the investigation team for their thoroughness and professionalism.”


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