TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (DC News Now) — A leader from the NAACP Arlington Branch died Sunday after people began shooting into a vehicle in which he was riding while vacationing on the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Kent Carter, 1st Vice President of the NAACP Arlington Branch, was one of two tourists in the vehicle. Staff members from a business on the islands were with them.
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said the people from the business were taking Carter and the other tourist back to their accommodations after an excursion. People began to shoot indiscriminately into the vehicle. Carter and one of the people from the business died. Three people, including the other tourist, were hurt.
On Wednesday, the NAACP Arlington Branch tweeted about Carter’s death. The tweet said, in part, that the group’s members mourn “the tragic and unexpected loss” of Carter.
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said officers spotted the vehicle used by the people who opened fire on Carter and the others. While officers followed it, police said the people inside started firing automatic guns at the officers. The gunfire hit the officers’ windshield and hood area a number of times. It also took out two of the tires.
Two of the officers returned fire. One officer had a serious injury from a gunshot wound.
The vehicle with the accused shooters got away.
Someone showed up at a hospital with a head injury. Police think he was hit by the gunfire coming from the people who shot at police.
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said after Carter’s murder, and the incidents that followed, police found a body they believe was that of one of the people who fired at officers.
Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said in a lengthy synopsis of the events:
I believe the original attack was targeted and carried out by armed gang members who act without conscience, who have no regard for life and who are hell-bent on causing indiscriminate harm and misery across the TCI. This violence is linked to drugs supply and is fueled by revenge, turf wars and retribution.Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force
Botting said the force needed support and that he expected to see “very substantial support” arriving on Turks and Caicos from across the region and the United Kingdom. He said it would be in the form of armed officers and investigators to assist with current threats that seem to have overtaken the islands in recent months.
Botting stated that the police force “feels the full weight of its responsibility in protecting the country” and that it was doing everything possible to ensure that it “can be returned to that safe and secure place.”