A Chicago sailor described by his family as adventurous and charming was murdered over the weekend in the Bahamas after he stepped in to stop a mugging.
Kyle Bruner, 34, was working as first mate on the Liberty Clipper when he witnessed three men mugging two women on the streets of Nassau, Bruner's father, Rick, confirmed with NBC Chicago.
"Kyle intervened and they grabbed the bags and ran off, and as they were running off, one turned and fired a shot at him and hit him in the neck," Rick Bruner said.
Bruner died from that gunshot wound.
When asked if Rick Bruner wished his son hadn't stepped in to help the women, he says that would've been out of character.
"He never liked bullies and he never stood for people around him being bullied," he said. "You say, 'Well, maybe he should've avoided the situation,' but that's not really who he was or the person we loved."
"It's always better to say 'I did' than 'I could have,' and his life was short, but he did," he said.
Rick Bruner said his son saw more in his 34 years than most people do in a lifetime. Drawn to the ocean years ago after a summer job as a deck-hand, Bruner recently passed a series of rigorous coast guard exams, earning his master's license. He had dreams of one day captaining a tall ship.
"He would come off the boat, he would work for a while, but he would always go back," Rick Bruner said.
One of the suspects in the Bahamas is already in custody, while police are searching for the other two.
Bruner's family has made arrangements to have the crew of the Liberty Clipper spread Kyle's ashes over the ocean, knowing that's exactly where Kyle always wanted to be.