A home invasion turned tragic for a resident Canadian family early Tuesday morning after they were bound and robbed by three armed bandits and one of them fatally shot.
Police say a 56-year-old Caucasian man, believed to be a British national, who was on island visiting his mother, got into an altercation with one of the intruders when he was shot and killed.
Seven people were reportedly in the two storey-home on Dunton Lane in Emerald Bay when the three masked, gloved males dressed in dark clothing broke in just before 7:00 a.m.
One of the bandits was armed with a handgun and another with a machete, according to police who received information about the incident shortly after 9:30 a.m.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Emrick Seymour explained the time lapse between the incident and them being notified.
“Our investigation suggests that phones may have been there but they may have been tampered with during the course of the robbery, which probably prohibited them from calling out,” he said.
After freeing themselves and ensuring the bandits had fled the area, members of the family made their way over the bridge and drove to Central Police Station to alert authorities.
The trio fled the home in a white GMC Chevy truck, owned by the gardener at that residence, and made away with several pieces of jewelry and other personal belongings of the victims.
The vehicle was recovered about a block away from the home.
Medical personnel, including the Rand Memorial Hospital pathologist, were summoned to the scene and pronounced the shooting victim dead.
Officers from the Criminal Detective Unit and Scenes of Crime were observed combing the scene and the nearby area for hours as the media was kept at bay.
“This incident is very disturbing to us in law enforcement and I’m sure it is to the wider Grand Bahama community. I would have met with the families of the deceased and of course assured them of the police department’s support and of course those persons responsible for this latest homicide being brought to justice,” the Grand Bahama police chief said.
ACP Seymour is again calling on residents to “step up to the plate” and assist police in bringing the matter to a speedy resolution.
“We’re looking at any and every eventuality in this particular matter. Whether or not they were targeted whether or not it was a random matter,” he said.
Police could not say how long the intruders stayed at the home, how they gained entry or if the occupants were asleep when they did.
A distraught woman, who identified herself as a friend of one of the female occupants, had to be held back from the scene as she ran toward the yellow crime scene tape and attempted to make her way through.
Unable to reach her friend by telephone and uncertain of exactly what had transpired, the woman tried desperately to relay to the police the urgency of her gaining entrance, but was calmed and informed that the scene was an active one and she would not be allowed entry.
Other concerned citizens who made their way to the scene were also turned back.
Some two hours later, a hearse arrived and left with the body of the shooting victim a short time afterwards.
As news of the homicide spread, the identity of the deceased male was being revealed via social media as that of Polymers International Chief Operating Officer, Gregory Ebelhar.
Concerned with the reports, Polymers issued an official statement Tuesday afternoon advising that Ebelhar is “alive and well and has no connection to the reported incident.”
The British’s homicide is the fourth for Grand Bahama in 10 days and pushes the count to six for the year.
To-date, all but one of the murders have been solved.
Police have yet to bring charges in the murder of former Mississippi investor Anthony Kyle Welch, who was recorded as the first for the year.
The 47 year old was bound with duct tape and stabbed multiple times about the body at his Albacore Drive home back in January.
He was reportedly discovered shortly after 10:00 p.m. by his girlfriend.
“There is no new update. The matter is still wide open under our active investigation. We appeal to members of the public who may new information to bring to our attention to assist us in this particular matter, we appeal to them to bring that forward so we can bring this matter to a conclusion as well,” Seymour said.
Anyone with information that can assist police in either of these murders is asked to contact 350-3107/8, 911/919 or call the nearest police station.
Published Wednesday, April 7, 2014