A Virginia community is shocked by the violent death of prominent civil rights activist and realtor Kent Carter, who was killed in an ambush while on vacation in Turks and Caicos while celebrating his 40th birthday.
Julius D. “JD” Spain Sr., president of the NAACP Arlington Branch and a longtime friend of the victim, said Carter was looking forward to spending time on the British Territory beach last weekend.
He left Saturday 1st October and was due to return on Tuesday 4th October.
“Best beach in the world bro,” Carter wrote in a message to Spain at 8:30 a.m. Sunday
Carter, the local NAACP charter vice president, never made it back to Virginia. He was dead by Sunday night, caught in a hail of bullets on the way back to the Ritz-Carlton. A local was also killed. Carter’s girlfriend was not reportedly injured, and two other people in the vehicle were shot, according to authorities.
“These criminals fired indiscriminately at the vehicle carrying the employee and tourists,” Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Commissioner Trevor Botting said in a video briefing. “As a result of this attack, two people were murdered. One from a local company and the other a tourist from the United States. Our deepest condolences go to the families of the murdered.”
Spain said Carter was popular and active in his community. He served as NAACP leader for four years. He served as chair of the organization’s Criminal Justice Committee, where he worked with state legislators to draft laws that drive reform. Carter, a native of Tennessee, was also a former special agent in the US Army.
“Kent was a gentle giant, a servant leader. I think he was someone who set an example for others to emulate,” Spain told the Atlanta Black Star. “Very respectful. I’ve never heard this guy raise his voice for anything in 10 years other than a rally for George Floyd that we did.
Spain said he learned of Carter’s death around 6:30 p.m., about half an hour after it happened. Carter’s friend called the victim’s brother in Tennessee, who contacted Spain.
Carter reportedly used his body to protect his girlfriend from being shot. Spain believes that if something out of the ordinary had happened, Carter’s military training would have prepared him for it.
The couple were five minutes from the hotel when they were mugged. mayhem ensued.
“She was upset, hyperventilating,” Spain said of Carter’s girlfriend, whom he only called by her first name, Alana.
Carter is survived by a 14-year-old daughter and an ex-wife. His family is waiting for Turks and Caicos officials to complete the autopsy and examination so Carter’s body can be shipped back to the States.
“He was a regular, young black guy, a professional living in DC, a real estate agent doing great things in the world,” Spain said.
Authorities believe the shooting was a targeted attack by Jamaican gangs marking territory.
“Using military-grade, high-velocity weapons, the vast majority of September’s killings were targeted and linked to this expanded and now emboldened gang trying to remove what they believe to be the local drug and arms smuggling competition. These local criminals who are already based here are fighting back,” Turks and Caicos Gov. Nigel John Dakin said during a press conference on Monday, October 3.
For Carter, Long Bay, Turks and Caicos, was paradise. He sent pictures of the beach to his longtime friend.
“He’s like a little brother to me and always called him my ace and we did a lot together,” said Spain. “So it was just – it’s weird that that happened. So we are still in awe.”
James Morgan III, a member of the oldest African American lodge in Virginia, where Carter was once a Master, said his heart was broken by the news of his friend’s death.
“He has done nothing to deserve this and I pray for healing for his family and for these criminals to be brought to justice,” Morgan wrote. “Kent was a hardworking, kind and loving man who loved life.”
Derrick Johnson, President of the National Branch of the NAACP, expressed his sadness at Carter’s death in a statement Thursday, Oct. 6.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kent Carter – father, veteran and Vice President of the NAACP Arlington Branch. This news is painful for our NAACP family,” he said. “We extend our condolences to his loved ones and are thinking of them at this difficult time.”
https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/10/07/naccp-leader-kent-carter-was-reportedly-ambushed-while-celebrating-birthday-in-turks-and-caicos-killed-shielding-his-girlfriend-from-gunfire/ NACCP leader Kent Carter was reportedly mugged at birthday party in Turks and Caicos; Killed to protect his girlfriend from gunfire