Bahamas Burglars Gun Down Canadian Farmer as Family Watches

Image: A dock at Port Nelson on Rum Cay in the Bahamas
An image of the dock at Port Nelson on Rum Cay, September 23, 2012 in the Bahamas. Jason Arnold / AP, file

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The family of a wealthy Canadian farmer was forced to watch him bleed to death after armed robbers gunned him down and raided their upscale family home in the Bahamas, officials said.

Edgar Dart, 56, tried to stop the masked men but he was shot in the chest in the struggle, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said in an emailed statement to NBC News.

His family - including his teenage son, wife and 79-year-old mother - were bound with duct tape and could do nothing as Dart took an hour to die while the robbers looted the house for jewelry and cash, the police said.

The incident happened at 7 a.m. ET Tuesday in the family's sprawling villa on Grand Bahama, about 100 miles east of Florida. Local police released Dart's identity Wednesday.

The raiders cut the telephone line before entering the house and made their escape in a gardener's van, police said. Police spokeswoman Terecita Pinder told NBC News Thursday that no arrests have been made.

Dart was a British national but had lived in Winnipeg for the past 15 years where he owned an animal feed business. According to Britain's Daily Telegraph he made his money as a fruit and vegetable wholesaler.

The villa is owned by his mother, Joy. A friend told the Winnipeg Free Press Dart traveled to the island to help her with some affairs following the death of his father last year.

Police told the local Tribune newspaper that the murder was the sixth on the island this year.

"[The island] used to be an island paradise, really idyllic, but it's not like that anymore I'm afraid, and the authorities have to share in the blame," Dart's 58-year-old brother-in-law Philip Poole said, according to the Telegraph. "For our family, it’s a dream that’s turned into a nightmare."