The Free National Movement (FNM) yesterday called for the withholding of political rhetoric regarding the murder of Petty Officer Philip Perpall, the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) marine who was shot and killed at Government House Sunday morning.
“The tragic event that took place Sunday morning has shocked our entire country and the FNM mourns for the victim of such a senseless crime,” the FNM said in a press statement.
“The FNM gives its deepest condolences to the family of Petty Officer Philip Perpall who served his country for over 30 years, gaining the respect of his peers for his character and his commitment to service.
“The FNM would like to thank all of our RBDF personnel, who put their lives on the line every waking moment.
“We are confident the current investigation will provide answers and ultimately justice.
“However, today is not a day for politics, and we encourage our friends on the other side of the political aisle to respect this time of mourning and withhold their political rhetoric and to honor the victim and his family.”
On Sunday, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said a man entered the premises of Government House around 2:30 a.m. and made his way to the guard house where Perpall was located.
Ferguson said the man shot Perpall with a handgun, hitting him several times to the upper body before fleeing. Police reported Perpall died at the scene.
The gunman reportedly opened fire on four other people who were in the room, but none were injured. Ferguson also confirmed that the governor general was not on the premises at the time of the incident.
While offering condolences to the family of Perpall on Sunday, opposition leader Philip Brave Davis demanded that the prime minister and other members of Cabinet further clarify what happened and explain its implications for such a public institution.
In a press statement, Davis said the prime minister must publicly state that the incident was not an attack on the state that exposes safety and security weaknesses at public institutions and public safety generally.
Davis added that the attack raises serious questions about the protocol in place regarding the emotional and psychological fitness of individuals who hold sensitive positions in the uniform branches of the government.
The incident pushed the country’s murder count for this year to 23.