Bahamian Olympic sprinter Shavez Hart was fatally shot outside a nightclub in the Caribbean nation while he was attempting to break up a fight, TMZ reported. The Royal Bahamas Police said the 29-year-old athlete was shot and killed in the wee hours of Saturday.
Authorities said Hart was fatally shot in the parking lot during a physical altercation involving a group of men. The suspect who opened fire is said to have initially left the scene of the fight before coming back with a gun and opening fire.
Hart, who was struck in the chest, was later pronounced dead at the hospital. The fatal incident happened just three days shy of the former Texas A&M star’s 30th birthday.
“The Olympic family is saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Shavez Hart, a proud native of Abaco,” the Bahamas Olympic Committee said in a statement after his death. “He was always very humble, yet proud and determined to offer the very best of himself for the sake of country.”
The Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Edward Davis, also extended his condolences to Hart’s family in a post on Twitter.
“On behalf of my family and the people of The Bahamas, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Shavez Hart. As a country, we’ve been blessed to have had an amazing athlete carry our flag worldwide. Ann and I will keep the family of Shavez in our thoughts and prayers,” Davis posted.
Hart was a multiple sprint champion in his native Bahamas, PEOPLE reported. He had also won medals in a number of competitions including the Pan-Am Under-2 Championships and CAC Championships. He represented the Bahamas at the Rio Olympic games in 2016. The deceased athlete also won several events while representing his alma mater in Texas.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force said the case is under investigation and a suspect has been arrested in connection with the fatal incident.