The murder of a Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marine at Government House was “shocking and disturbing”, Attorney General Carl Bethel said in the Senate yesterday.
Bethel said RBDF Petty Officer Philip Perpall’s murder on “hallowed ground” was a tragedy and that any lapses in security at Government House must be addressed.
Commissioner of Police Antony Ferguson said a man entered Government House around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday and made his way to the guard house where Perpall and four other people were. He said the man then opened fire, hitting Perpall in the upper body. The killer then fled the scene.
Bethel said Bahamians must pray that the spirit of anger and violence leaves The Bahamas.
“I rise on behalf of the government to express the great distress and concern of the Bahamian people about the killing of RBDF Petty Officer Philip Perpall and the circumstances attendant upon that tragic act,” Bethel said.
“It is especially shocking that the alleged assailant is a fellow RBDF member, who would have had all necessary training.
“The loss of any life due to any act of violence, no matter where it occurs or who commits it, is an inherent tragedy and is to be deeply regretted.
“The fact that the murder took place on the hallowed ground of Government House, the historical and perpetual center of our nation state and official residence of her excellency the governor general, our head of state, and also allegedly amongst members of her security detail, is also particularly disturbing.
“We trust that all relevant agencies will, in due course, take necessary steps to ensure that the law is upheld and that all necessary steps are taken to improve the security of Government House, if it is found that there was in fact any lapses in security.
“We as a people should pray that the spirit of irrational and hateful anger and violence will forever depart from our country.”
Ferguson told reporters on Sunday that no other officers were injured during the incident and the governor general was not on the premises.
The commissioner did not reveal whether the killer was licensed to carry a gun or how the suspect gained entry to the compound.
He said police were questioning a person of interest.
Perpall, 52, is a former United Nations peacekeeper and served with RBDF for more than 30 years.