Undoubtedly, one of the most important rules in traveling abroad, particularly in developing nations, is to never resist an armed assailant, or one you may believe to be armed, in what you believe is an armed robbery with the objective of relieving you of your valuables, mobile phone, cash, credit cards, camera, etc., as such crimes almost invariably result in tragic results.
In a posting I filed on May 14, 2013, entitled "Bahamas: American Sailor, 34, Shot, Killed After Coming to the Aid of a Friend in Nassau," US commercial sailor Kyle Bruner, 34, the Chicago-based first mate on a tall ship, the Liberty Chipper, moored in Nassau, was shot and killed in the Bahamian capital on Sunday (May 13) after coming to the aid of a friend.
The incident occurred at 0430 hours while Bruner was walking north on Mackey Street and approaching East Bay Street with another man and two women when they were approached by two local men who demanded cash from them, one of whom was armed with a handgun.
Subsequently, Bruner was shot in the neck when he tried to attempted to stop the assailants from stealing jewelry from one of the women.
Sadly, Bruner had just passed his captain's exam and was scheduled to depart Nassau for Boston next week.
COMMENT: As a matter of interest, 0430 hours is NEVER a good time to walking...in any country.
Fortunately, local police arrested the assailants, yet of little consolation for Kyle or the family he left behind.
Although it is commendable that Bruner came to the crime victim's aid, the reality is that many criminals in the Bahamas carry firearms and are more than ready to use them against their victims and those who attempt to interfere with them.
As I have emphasized in more than countless postings over the years, crime victims in the Bahamas should NEVER resist a crime where the objective is personal property (e.g., wallet, purse, camera, smart-phone, money, credit cards, etc.), as NO amount of property is worth one's life, particularly considering that many career criminals carry firearms.
The unfortunate part of this case is that given the fact that the assailants were armed, it was a given that the woman who was resisting the armed robbery of her jewelry was going to be relieved of her property one way or other other.
It should be emphasized that the US Embassy in Nassau has classified the security threat from violent crime as "critical," which is the highest level of threat used by the US Department of State.
In the end, Bruner's valorous effort to prevent an armed robbery was ill-advised, particularly at 0430 in the morning, when Nassau streets were abundant with criminal elements.
Clearly, this crime, with irreversible results, could have been avoided had Kyle and his friends simply taken a reputable taxi. If so, in all likelihood, Kyle would be alive today, fullfilling his dream of being a ship's Master.