Bahamian Olympic sprinter Shavez Hart has been shot dead after trying to break up an argument outside a nightclub at 2am – just four days before his 30th birthday.
Hart, 29, was killed as he tried to stop a group of men from fighting in the carpark of a nightclub in Mount Hope on the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas in the early hours of Saturday morning.
One of the men involved in the altercation reportedly left the parking lot and got a gun out of his car before shooting Hart in the chest.
Hart, who competed in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and has a wife and son, was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He would have turned 30 on Tuesday.
A suspect was later arrested and taken into police custody, according to local media.
Hart’s mother, Shammaine Hart, told the Nassau Guardian: ‘He was such a good son – very quiet and always helpful. He did a lot of work in the community and was always trying to give back. I will certainly miss him.’
The country’s prime minister, Philip Brave Davis, paid tribute to Hart and said the Bahamas is ‘blessed to have a great athlete to carry our flag around the world’.
Davis said on Twitter: ‘On behalf of my family and the people of the Bahamas, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Shavez Hart.
‘As a country we are blessed to have a great athlete to carry our flag around the world. Ann and I will keep the Shavez family in our thoughts and prayers.’
The Bahamian sports minister Mario Bowleg said:: ‘It is with great sadness that I express my heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Olympian Shavez Hart!’
Hart was an eight-time Bahamian champion in 100 metre and 200 metre sprints.
He qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a time of 10.10 seconds in the 100m sprint – a personal best that meant he became the third fastest Bahamanian of all time.
Hart had earlier attended the Texas A&M University where he competed in track events.
He competed in the 2013 CAC Championships and won the gold medal in the 4x100m relay in Morelia, Mexico.