(THE STAR) Canada/Sint Maarten – According to local police, investigators were called to the Driftwood Boat Bar on the western edge of the island on Wednesday at roughly 11 p.m. They say the victim, whom they identified only by his initials, S.V., and his daughter were attacked by an unknown person.
A view of the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean Sea. A Canadian man was shot during a robbery at a bar near Simpson Bay and later died of his injuries. (ST. MAARTEN TOURIST BUREAU)
During the brief struggle, S.V. was shot and the alleged attacker fled the scene in a small vehicle. S.V. was taken to hospital in critical condition. He was later flown to Florida for further medical treatment, where he died.
“This investigation is moving forward, but the information is not coming in quickly enough,” the police department said on Facebook. “The investigators are making an appeal to anyone who has any information and mainly those persons who were in the immediate vicinity when the robbery took place to come forward.”
Police added, “It is definitely in the best interest of Sint Maarten that we do our utmost to bring those responsible for this senseless act of violence to justice.”
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In a statement to the Star, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Brittany Fletcher said government officials are in contact with Florida authorities and are providing consular assistance to the victim’s family.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the Canadian citizen who was injured in St. Maarten and died in Florida,” Fletcher said. “Due to the provisions under the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed.”
Quebec resident Yanie Valade identified her father, Sylvain Valade, as the victim of the fatal shooting in a public Facebook post on Friday.
The daughter wrote in French, “No words can describe the sadness I feel after losing you this way. A tragic and unimaginable death. Images keep running through my mind, and I’m haunted by the sound of the gunshot.
“My beloved father, you left as a hero; you saved my life and protected me until your last breath, as you’ve always done. I lost a part of myself today, the man of my life, the best father anyone could have.
“I’m counting on you to give me the strength and courage to carry on. I love you unconditionally, with a love that’s irreplaceable. Watch over me, as you have since I was a child. You will be in my heart forever. I love you.”