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Chicago Sailor Killed In Bahamas While Trying To Stop Muggers

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Kyle Bruner (Photo supplied by Bruner family)

Kyle Bruner (Photo supplied by Bruner family)

CHICAGO (CBS) – A sailor from Chicago was shot and killed in the Bahamas over the weekend, while trying to stop the mugging of two women.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports 34-year-old Kyle Bruner was slain while trying to stop three men from stealing a woman’s jewelry in Nassau.

The former special education teacher and artilleryman in the Indiana Army National Guard had been in the Bahamas as a sailor on the “Liberty Clipper” a 125-foot schooner, which was scheduled to set sail for Boston next week.


His parents said Kyle found his love for tall ships while working in California.

Bruner’s father, Rick, said Kyle loved sailing and spending time out at sea.

Kyle had a week left on his voyage in the Bahamas when he was shot in the neck, trying to stop a crime.

“He didn’t tolerate other people being abused,” Rick Bruner said.

Rick Bruner saw his son a month ago, when Kyle was back home in Chicago to study for his captain’s license. He passed, and sailed out on the Liberty Clipper to the Bahamas.

Rick said his son had a definite connection to the sea.

“I think he realized that that’s where his life was going be, and really he lived a very full life,” he said.

Previously, Kyle Bruner had been a special education teacher, but he told his father this past winter that the ocean kept calling him back.

“He did put his education degree to use. He worked with autistic children. But the sea always drew him back,” said Ginny Bruner, Kyle’s mother.

Over the weekend, he and another crew member were in Nassau, when they tried to stop a robbery.

“You always think, maybe he should have given up on this one, or maybe he shouldn’t have tried as hard, but that wasn’t who he was,” Rick said.

One of the three suspects was in custody Monday morning.

“I don’t know what I would say to them,” Rick said. “Revenge is a hollow emotion. I mean, I would like them out of the way, so that they can’t do this to another family, but I get no comfort … it doesn’t bring him back.”

Rick Bruner said his son lived life to the fullest, even when it was risky. He always followed his heart.

“I always told him that it was better to say that I did, than to say that I could have, and so he did,” Rick said

Kyle will be cremated and his ashes scattered in the ocean. His father said that’s where Kyle wanted to be.

He spent most of his life in Indiana, but called Chicago home after his parents moved here three years ago. His plan was to join another crew this summer, and sail to Chicago in August.

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