Kent Carter Virginia NAACP leader killed in Turks and Caicos ambush in what is thought to have been a gang related crime in the troubled region. Authorities continue to investigate.
Wrong place at the wrong time? An American tourist traveling with his girlfriend in what was supposed to an idyllic getaway was shot dead in an ambush in the Turks and Caicos on Sunday, local police said.
Kent Carter, 40, a NAACP leader from Virginia was killed when a hotel shuttle he was traveling in on his way back from an excursion in Long Bay was shot up by several men brandishing automatic weapons, the Arlington County NAACP confirmed to Fox 5 DC.
Turks and Caicos Police Commissioner Trevor Botting described the incident as an indiscriminate shooting, linked to the drug supply and is fueled by revenge, turf wars, and retribution.
‘These criminals began to indiscriminately shoot into the vehicle,’ Turks and Caicos Police Commissioner Trevor Botting said in a statement on Monday.
Police tracked down the suspected gunmen, and possibly killed one of them during a shootout. Also killed was a tour guide on the shuttle. Five other people, including an American, were injured, NBC4 reported.
‘wrong place at the wrong time’?
The other suspects managed to flee and the search for them continues. An officer suffered serious injuries during the gun battle.
‘I believe the original attack was targeted and carried out by armed gang members who act without conscience, who have no regard for life,’ Botting said.
It remained unclear what motivated the attack and how Carter came to be targeted or if he was simply in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’?
Turks and Caicos Governor Nigel John Dakin blamed Jamaican gangs for the rising crime in the territory, reported the Jamaica Gleaner.
‘It remains ongoing and it will not stop, unless we stop it,’ Dakin told the House of Assembly on Monday.
Turks and Caicos is a British overseas territory made up of 40 coral islands located southeast of the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean.
Carter, who worked as a realtor, occupied a high position at Arlington County’s branch of the NAACP and had previously led the oldest African American Masonic lodge in Virginia.
Veteran and former special agent
Carter had taken the trip with his girlfriend to celebrate his birthday and had been returning from an outing on the beach when the vehicle they were traveling in was ambushed.
Carter’s girlfriend said that gunfire erupted suddenly and that Carter – who she said was a veteran and former special agent – immediately used his body to shield her.
His neighbor Robert York described him as a ‘standup guy’ and a family man.
James Morgan III, Carter’s friend and fellow Mason, mourned his death in a Facebook post.
‘He did nothing to deserve this and I pray healing for his family and that these criminals be brought to justice,’ Morgan wrote.
A U.S. State Department spokesman offered condolences to Carter’s family and said officials are providing consular assistance.