By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
BEFORE he died of multiple gunshot wounds in his chest, Alain Perez, owner of Bimini Big John’s Bar and Grill, told his roommate that an unknown person wearing dark clothing was his assailant, according to police on the island.
Although investigators have no clue who this person is or where they are, officer-in-charge on the island, Superintendent Henry Rolle said residents and visitors in Bimini have nothing to fear.
While he said the investigation is still in the infancy stage, police are sure it was an “isolated” incident.
Perez, a Cuban-American and father of three, lived in Bimini for several years. He was 47-years-old.
“The person knocked on the door and when he opened it the person engaged him in the gunfire and struck him several times in the chest,” Supt Rolle told The Tribune yesterday. “There were no signs of forced entry.”
Asked whether police were concerned the shooter was still on the island, Supt Rolle said there was no evidence to support that line of inquiry.
“This is an isolated incident and we haven’t established a motive. There is no need to fear because Bimini is a safe place and has always been a safe place.
“So I encourage everyone out there if they have any information to share with police to bring it forward and we will look at it. It’s an active investigation. It’s still fresh and it’s still early to say what is going on, but we are working feverishly to determine what happened.”
Perez’s mother and sister were in Bimini where they spoke to police and then flew to the capital yesterday as his body was sent for an autopsy. According to police, the incident happened shortly after 1am on Sunday. “A male was shot multiple times in the upper part of his body, while at his residence in Bimini,” police said in a report. “The male victim was taken to the Bimini clinic where he later succumbed to his injuries.”
A message was posted to Bimini Big John’s Bar and Grill’s Facebook page where the tragedy was announced. It was shared dozens of times.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the heart and soul of Bimini Big John’s has been taken from us too soon,” the post read. “A Cuban-American immigrant, business owner, son, brother and a father of three was known as the most selfless human being.
“We pray for justice and may the memory of Alain Perez live in our hearts and his legacy live on forever. The family thanks everyone for their love and support throughout the difficult time. Rest in peace.”
Many expressed shock at the death. One Facebook user commented: “Simply no words. I was in shock when I read the news. May he RIP. Will have him and his family in our prayers.”
“We are all shocked and heartbroken. He will be missed. RIP Alain!” Another person said.
“Sending prayers to the family. Met him on one of my trips over there when our group came in for lunch... such a great guy, infectious laugh. RIP,” another post read.
Anyone with information is asked to call police in Bimini at 242-347-3144, 919 or the Crime Stoppers hotline at 328-TIPS.