American shot during burglary in Turks & Caicos, flown to South Florida

2 intruders break into home, shoot victim, taking laptop 'and nothing else'

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A law partner in a Washington, D.C. firm was shot during a Friday night burglary in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

A Trinity Air Ambulance International plane landed Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, where rescuers carefully unloaded the victim onto a stretcher.

Local 10 News has learned the patient is Michael Jones. Authorities said the 57-year-old was shot during an armed burglary in the Turks and Caicos.

"The victim received a single gunshot wound to his upper body," Royal Turks and Caicos Police Commissioner James Smith said.

Smith said the shooting happened after two men broke into a home in Providenciales, the main island of Turks and Caicos, about 10 p.m. Friday.

"The security guard had been (bound) at the scene with his own shoelaces," Smith said.

The burglars then shot Jones, who was later rushed to a hospital in Turks and Caicos, before his transport to South Florida. He's now recovering at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood where he is listed in stable condition. 

"The suspects left the scene with possession of a laptop from the home, and nothing else," Smith said.

Friday's most recent violent robbery comes just after another incident. Alabama resident Kevin Newman was also rushed to South Florida for treatment after he was shot during a July 22 armed robbery in the Turks and Caicos.

"I mean, it's not possible to completely link these," Smith said.

The country's government addressed what they call an "increased incidence of violent crimes" on their Facebook page.

The U.S. Department of State has not issued any travel advisories, but calls crime in the Turks and Caicos "low but increasing." The commissioner had a message for American tourists.

"It's a low-crime country, it's a great place to visit, but just take some sensible precautions," Smith said.

Detectives were investigating the incident, and the Ministry of Tourism and the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association is offering the family assistance.

"The Ministry of Tourism continues to work together with the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association to support persons who may have experienced criminal acts within our country," the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Tourism said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all that were affected by the events of last evening. Rest assured that we are working together with the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands' Police Force and the community to triumph over these heinous acts of crime. The Ministry of Tourism encourages all persons to exercise vigilance as we seek to restore the Turks and Caicos Islands that you have come to know and love."

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