Kent Carter, a well-known Arlington NAACP leader and realtor, was fatally shot in Turks and Caicos after gunmen ambushed a vehicle he was traveling in. Carter’s girlfriend told FOX 5 that they had traveled to the Caribbean nation to celebrate his birthday. And after the gunmen opened fire, she said Carter shielded her with his body.
Police in the British Overseas Territory said that the vehicle that was ambushed was returning from an excursion when the gunmen shot at it. Carter, who was said to be a bystander, was fatally struck. A staff member also sustained an injury.
“It was committed by armed criminals in a vehicle. These criminals proceeded to indiscriminately shoot into the vehicle transporting the employees and the tourists. As a result of this attack, two persons were murdered, one from the local business and another being a tourist from the United States,” the police commissioner in Turks and Caicos, Trevor Botting, said, per PEOPLE.
Police later managed to locate the vehicle that was used for the ambush and engaged the gunmen in a shootout. Police said the gunmen used automatic weapons, adding that they believe one of them was killed during the exchange of gunfire.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family of those who were murdered,” Botting said.
Police in the Caribbean nation has since launched an investigation into the shooting. The gunmen are also yet to be apprehended. Botting also said the shooting was “linked to drug supply” and “fueled by revenge, turf wars, and retribution.”
“I believe the original attack was targeted and carried out by gang members who acted without conscious, who had no regard for life, and who are hellbent on causing indiscriminate harm and misery across the [Turks and Caicos Islands],” Botting added.
Carter served as the 1st Vice President of the NAACP Arlington Branch. He was also a prominent realtor. His girlfriend told FOX 5 that he was also a veteran and an ex-special agent.
“NAACP Arlington Branch mourns the tragic and unexpected loss of our 1st Vice President, Kent Carter, who passed away Sunday, October 2, 2022, while vacationing abroad,” the NAACP said in a statement, PEOPLE reported. “Our deepest sympathies go out to his family. May God grant them strength during this time of sorrow.”
The President of the NAACP Arlington Branch, Julius D. “JD” Spain, Sr., also told FOX 5 that Carter was “not only a friend but a true champion of civil rights and social justice.” Spain added that the deceased man was “a gentleman with a gentle heart.”