Olympic Sprinter Shavez Hart Shot And Killed While Breaking Up A Fight In The Bahamas

(Getty Images)

Tragedy has struck the racing world as Olympic sprinter Shavez O’Neal Hart died when he was shot after breaking up a fight. The event happened in his native Bahamas during a dispute outside of a nightclub over the weekend.

The incident occurred around 2 a.m. on Saturday when a fight broke out between a group of men in Mount Hope, North Abaco. One of the men left the scene, only to return with a gun. The 29-year-old Hart was shot in the chest in the parking lot near the nightclub. The suspect was eventually arrested and is currently in police custody.

He was later pronounced dead at the Marsh Harbor Clinic. Hart would have turned 30 years old on Tuesday.

“The Olympic family is saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Shavez Hart, a proud native of Abaco,” the Bahamas Olympic Committee said in a statement. “He was always very humble, yet proud and determined to offer the very best of himself for the sake of country.”

Hart went to Texas A&M and was part of the 4×100 relay team that won the gold at the NCAA Indoor Championship in 2015. He also won at the 2015 SEC Outdoor Championship’s 100-meter competition.

“This is so tragic. Shavez Hart was of course one of our finest athletes ever, but he was one of the kindest people I have met, and such a soft-spoken man,” Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry said. “Words can’t describe the loss that the Aggie track & field family is feeling. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Hart competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the Bahamas. He won the internal Bahamian heats for the 100 and 200-meter events on eight different occasions while qualifying for the 2016 Olympics with a time of 10.10 seconds, making him the third-fastest Bahamian sprinter.

“Waking up to absolutely devastating news that one of my former athletes Shavez Hart was shot and killed last night in the Bahamas,” wrote his former South Plains College coach, Blaine Wiley. “I had the honor of coaching ‘Sparkie’ at South Plains College where he remains the school record holder and won many NJCAA championships. RIP.”

Hart competed at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, coached by Blaine Wiley, where he posted personal best marks of 10.16(A) in the 100, 20.80(A) in the 200, and 47.36 in the 400 during the 2013 season.

Additionally, he was a member of four SEC Championship-winning relay teams. Individually, he won gold in the 100m (10.12) at the 2015 SEC Outdoor Championships. His name is listed in the Texas A&M all-time top-12 record eight times across six events.

Hart helped lead Texas A&M to a third-place finish in the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

At the Olympic Games, Hart represented the Bahamas in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Hart was a straight sprinter, with the 4×100 being his best event. He helped the Bahamas win a silver medal in the relay at the World Indoor Athletics tournament in 2016.

“On behalf of my family and the people of the Bahamas, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Shavez Hart,” Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis tweeted. “As a country we are blessed to have a great athlete to carry our flag around the world. Ann and I will keep the Shavez family in our thoughts and prayers.”


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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.