Bus Driver Shot & Killed in Tourist-Filled Downtown Nassau

Nassau Bahamas Shooting DeathThis morning, a driver of a minibus, reportedly operated by Stuart Cove Dive shop, was shot and killed in downtown Nassau, Bahamas. The Facebook page of Nassau resident Tellis Virgil‎'s Speak Up Bahamas discussed the incident and includes a photograph of the crime scene. 

Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas is described as "Nassau's leading full service dive resort."

Five cruise ships are in the port of Nassau today: Carnival Pride, Carnival Elation, Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Breakaway. 

The Tribune newspaper in Nassau reports that police "were called to the scene of the shooting at East Street North, near Prince George Wharf around 7am where they discovered the body of an adult male by a Stuart Cove's minibus parked near The Crew Pub and entrance to the cruise port." 

It is currently unknown exactly when the five cruise ships arrived at the port and disembarked passengers ashore. Several of the ships disembarked their passengers after 7:00 a.m., if this is in fact when the shooting occurred. But many people commented that tourists were waiting to board the minibus when the shooting took place.

One of the comments to the Tribune article expressed concern that the "man was murdered on the doorstep of our cruise ship industry in broad daylight." Other people voiced their concerns on the Speak Up Bahamas Facebook page of the impact of this crime on Nassau. Several people commented that there are already two police officers from the Royal Bahamian Police Force on virtually every street corner in downtown Nassau to try and deter crimes which may affect tourists.  

Cruise Law News has repeatedly reported on the high crime rate in this port city.  The murder rate in Nassau is around 8 to 10 times higher than the U.S. murder rate per 100,000. The murder rate in the U.S. is around 4.5 per 100,000; the murder rate of the Bahamas is over 30 per 100,000.  Considering that the vast majority of murders in the Bahamas occur in New Providence where Nassau is located, the murder rate is probably over 40 per 100,000 for Nassau.     

I have been quoted as saying that Nassau is one gunshot away from cruise lines pulling out of Nassau. Nassau is viewed by the Miami-based cruise lines as a convenient deep water port with cheap dockage fares and low passenger head-taxes. But Nassau has been the subject of at least a dozen critical crime warnings by the U.S. State Department and the U.S. embassy in Nassau over the last several years. Cruise lines will probably still continue to call on Nassau because it is a close, money-making port (although it will lose cruise tourists to Cuba over the years to come). But things will drastically change should a cruise passenger become a murder victim in Nassau. 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.   

Photo credit: Tellis Virgil‎'s Speak Up Bahamas

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Howard Brunn - April 20, 2017 8:57 PM

There have been two Bahamian police officers shot and killed in less than a week in Nassau alone, what makes tourist think they are safe in the Bahamas?

Casino105 - April 21, 2017 6:13 AM

The problem starts at the top, the P.M. Is the cause. The country is going backwards and the cost of living going forward. The people have no jobs but have huge bills to,pay. They need an outside police force to come in,, take over and train the police. If Nassau should lose the cruise lines , that's the end of Nassau. It used to so safe there, you could walk anywhere, anytime and not have a problem. Now, you can't go out in daylight and be safe. Last week the jewelry store Little Switerland was robbed at lunch time , they smashed the cases and took watches and got away. They have an election in May, if they don't change the government that's in power, the outcome will be certain, Nassau will not exist.

Judy Harrington - April 21, 2017 6:55 AM

Pull all the ships and Nassau will clean up the crime real quick!

ryba1985 - April 21, 2017 9:50 AM

You can see the NCL Sky's funnel right there behind the cruise port buildings!

Thomas24 - April 21, 2017 6:21 PM

The Bahamas is about 20 days away from voting out their most corrupt leader the Bahamas has ever had; Prime Minister Perry Christie. And it seems the Bahamian people have had it with these corrupt leaders too, they just caught one of them extorting contracts from the original Baha Mar hotel owner Mr. Izmirlian who was robbed of his property by the PLP Bahamian government.
http://www.tribune242.com/news/2017/apr/21/fitzgerald-admits-seeking-contracts/..
The corrupt government could careless about the safety of tourists, the locals are being murdered everyday included armed police officer and they do nothing about it. And as of today the Baha Mar hotel is having a soft opening (because it's not finished yet) which brings me to what about to say. As a retired Dade County Police Officer it is very important Americans and all tourist know the dangerous place the Bahamas is right now. The country is suffering because of high unemployment, a corrupt government stealing all their funds, the police are not paid because there is no money left, the people are killing each other to survive; who in their right mind would go there in a time like this? Wealthy tourist are going to go to a place where their going to pay from $350 to $500 a night while the locals are suffering eating can dog food to survive; it's like bring the sheep's to the wolves, the crime and murder rate in Nassau is ten times that of Detroit. I wouldn't go to the Bahamas right now if it was an all expense paid trip, maybe after things get better with the new Prime Minister. By the way Mr. Walker, this is a great Blog., thank you for your services. Only God can tell you how many lives you've saved by warning people ahead of time with this website.

UK Investor - April 22, 2017 4:28 PM

Mr. Sarkis Izmirlian shouldn't be surprised at all that his property was stolen from him by the Bahamian government. Would you invest your hard earned money with Black Beard the Pirate, so than why would you invest in the Bahamas? The Bahamas has always been run by pirates since day one, all that has changed since than is technology, but it's still run by modern day pirates. But this might all change May 10th election day, and the new government promises it will wipe out corruption in the Bahamas, and bring the present government to justice for their crimes against the Bahamian people; I've got to see that for myself, I highly doubt it. But as an investor I know one thing for sure, investing in the Bahamas is like throwing money away. Investing in a third world country that spends more than it makes, is very unfriendly towards foreign investors, can not control it's crime wave, has a junk status credit rating, is run by a well known corrupt government; that to me is business suicide.

Albert - April 23, 2017 4:15 AM

http://bahamaspress.com/2017/04/22/police-are-reporting-another-homicide-tonight-off-tonique-williams-darling-highwaymale-shot-dead/
Besides all the other crimes in the Bahamas, there is a major battle going on between the gangs for control of the drug trade. Not long ago a baby has killed in the cross fire of a gang vs. gang shoot out. This Mini bus driver who just got killed is way too close to the tourist area. The guy that was killed on Thursday was a block away from the police station, and it was the middle of the day; these criminals have no fear of the police.

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