Former Deputy Speaker Shot Dead in Armed Robbery in The Bahamas

Don Saunders
Don Saunders was a former Deputy Speaker in the Bahamas legislature.

In a tragic incident on Wednesday, a former Deputy Speaker and a notable figure in the Bahamas was fatally shot during an armed robbery at a bar. This incident marks the 35th homicide in the nation for the year, raising serious concerns about public safety and crime rates in the island chain. The alarming rise in homicides prompted the US Embassy in the Bahamas earlier this year to issue a security warning and travel advisory, highlighting the island nation’s current unsafe conditions for tourists. The advisory starkly advised against physically resisting in the event of a robbery, noting that murders have occurred at all times of day, including in broad daylight.

Don Saunders, 49, a former parliamentarian and deputy chairman of the Free National Movement Party, was targeted by two masked gunmen around 9 pm in Gambier Village, just west of Nassau. The assailants demanded cash from Saunders and his colleagues, who, in panic, attempted to flee, leading to Saunders being shot in the upper torso. The suspects then fled the scene in Saunders’ vehicle, a 2014 Nissan Note, leaving him with fatal injuries. No arrests have been reported following this heinous crime.

The Free National Movement Party, along with Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis, expressed deep sadness and extended condolences to Saunders’ family. Saunders, remembered for his significant contributions to Bahamian politics and community, leaves behind a grieving family, including his wife, Tiffany; his children, Danielle and Don Jr., both of whom are athletes in the US and on the Carifta swim team, respectively; as well as his twin brother and mother.

This escalating violence and the resultant US travel advisory underscore a critical situation in the Bahamas, where public safety has become a paramount concern. Authorities are urged to take immediate and effective measures to curb the rising crime rates and restore peace and security to this popular tourist destination.

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