Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Anola man killed in the Bahamas

Business owner shot by masked attackers in home invasion

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A hearse takes the body of Edgar Dart to the morgue on Grand Bahama. No arrests have been made after the violent robbery that claimed Dart's life.

BAHAMAS TRIBUNE Enlarge Image

A hearse takes the body of Edgar Dart to the morgue on Grand Bahama. No arrests have been made after the violent robbery that claimed Dart's life.

It was a heroic act in a moment of terror -- and a man who works for Edgar Dart says he's not surprised the Manitoba feedlot owner put himself in harm's way to protect his loved ones in the Bahamas.

Dart, 56, was shot early Tuesday by masked attackers who broke into his mother's home in an upscale neighbourhood of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island in the Caribbean.

Six other people -- including Dart's elderly mother and his school-aged son -- were in the home at the time.

Police say the victims were bound and gagged, and Dart was gunned down during a struggle with one of the invaders.

Emergency crews responded but he was pronounced dead at the scene by doctors from Rand Memorial Hospital.

No arrests have been made in what investigators say is the island's sixth homicide of 2014.

Dart operated a feed business, Dart Farms, south of Anola. On Wednesday, a pair of grieving employees decided to keep the doors open.

That's what he would have wanted, Garytt Morfoot said.

"He'd wake up at 5 a.m. and start working, and he wouldn't stop till 10 (p.m.)," said Morfoot, 24. "He was honest and hard-working... a real man's man. His word was his honour.

"He didn't take any sh--. That's probably what cost him his life."

Morfoot and his younger brother, Evan, 18, work full time at the feedlot.

Garytt said his boss had a tremendous work ethic and was respected by his customers.

"He was almost like a father figure to me, ever since my own father died a few years ago," he said. "I worked with him for 11 years, from the time I started cutting grass there when I was a kid. Pretty much everything I know, I took from him."

Dart is a British citizen who moved to Manitoba more than 15 years ago to start a farm.

The Tribune newspaper in the Bahamas reported Dart is the son of the late Colin Dart, a wealthy British resident who died in December. The man's wife, Joan, lives in the affluent subdivision of Emerald Bay.

Edgar Dart, his son and other family members from Britain were visiting the woman when the home invasion occurred.

Bahamas assistant police commissioner Emrick Seymour said the intruders wore masks, gloves and dark clothing and were armed with a handgun and machete. They tied their victims' hands with duct tape.

"This incident is very disturbing to us and to the wider Grand Bahama community," Seymour told the Tribune.

The family was robbed of jewelry and other belongings.

Late Wednesday, a friend said the tragic news was starting to spread.

"It's terrible news," the man said.

Dart farmed in Tache for many years, but sold much of his land to focus on the feed business, the friend explained.

"(Edgar) was just a very hard-working man," his friend said. "He came from an affluent British family, but you wouldn't know it. He was down to earth."

Investigators told the Tribune they aren't sure how the attackers got onto the property and into the home. After the robbery, the assailants fled in a truck. The vehicle was later recovered.

Police weren't notified until about two hours after the incident because the thieves had tampered with phones in the home, Seymour said.

Police in Freeport offered condolences.

"I have met with the families of the deceased and I have assured them of the police support and co-operation in this investigation... to bring the persons responsible for this latest homicide to justice," Seymour told the Tribune.

Wednesday, Dart's ex-wife, who lives in Steinbach, was on her way to the Caribbean to get her son.

 

jason.bell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 10, 2014 A2

History

Updated on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 6:53 PM CDT: Adds photo of Dart.

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