Friends and co-workers of a Manitoba man murdered in the Bahamas are in shock.
Edgar George Dart was visiting a family home in the upscale Emerald Bay neighbourhood of Grand Bahama when three masked intruders burst in on April 8.
Dart, 56, was shot in the chest and killed after struggling with one of the assailants as they tied up family members with duct tape, according to authorities.
"It's something out of a horrible horror movie, like I couldn't believe it honestly. It's a terrible loss," said Garytt Morfoot, who worked with Dart for years at Dart Farms, a feed business in Anola, Man..
"The guy was my boss and he's been my best friend and a father figure to me."
It happened at the home of Dart's mother. Morfoot said the intruders threatened Dart's 13-year-old son, which prompted the struggle that led to the shooting.
"I'll always view him as a hero for trying to stop them. So I'd imagine him, like Edgar just, he couldn't stand them, stand the thought of them hurting him and he just lost it on them I guess," said Morfoot.
Evan Morfoot, Garytt’s brother, also worked for Dart. He said Dart was like a father to him, after he lost his own father more than five years ago.
“He kind of taught us how to be tough, how to run a farm without him,” said Evan. “He was a hell of a guy. He was old-fashioned to the heart – perfect definition of a hard-working man.”
Evan knew Dart since he was 12 years old, and said he will be helping take care of the farm business, which will remain open for now.
People in Anola, located about 27 kilometres east of Winnipeg, are trying to make sense of the violence of Dart's death, Morfoot added, saying he'll keep the feed business going for as long as he can.
The attackers had apparently cut phone service to the house before the attack then fled in a gardener's van, said Assistant Commissioner Emrick Seymour of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
No suspects are in custody and Seymour appealed to the public for help.
"We are right in the middle of our investigation into this situation and we are following some leads," Seymour said.
It was the sixth homicide of the year on Grand Bahama. There have been about 30 for all of the Bahamas, an island chain just off the coast of Florida.
Dart 'always made you feel good,' friend says
Bill Heather is a councillor in the Rural Municipality of Tache, in Manitoba, who knew Dart.
“I was shocked. I felt bad. I was thinking of this person who was just at a point in his life where life would be better for him and suddenly this happened,” he said.
“He was very upbeat, always willing to engage in a meaningful conversation. When you came there as a customer it didn’t matter if you came for a five dollar bag of something or a thousand dollars, he treated you well.”
Heather said Dart’s father died recently in the Bahamas, and Dart had been there during the winter to be with his sick father.
“He went back probably to help his mother out,” he said, “And this is what happened.”