Montgomery woman grieves son lost to gun violence

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A woman is sharing her story of grief just days after her son was gunned down in Montgomery.

“Our family is in shock. We’re just, we’re stunned,” Betty Carter said.

Her son, 38-year-old Mario Carter, was one of three people killed in separate shootings Sunday.

Mario Carter’s death represents the 73rd homicide of the year for Montgomery. Last year’s homicide total was 68.

Montgomery police have not revealed the motive for the shooting, and Carter’s family members say they’re not sure what happened.

“That’s what remember. I just got a call saying that he’d been killed,” Carter said.

She described her son as a simple, working man and an artist. Holding a photo Mario once drew for her of a cross, she remembers his love of drawing.

“It’s so precious to me now because I know he knew who the Lord was and I know he’s with him now,” Carter said.

Montgomery police said Mario Carter was shot and killed on Japonica Street just before noon Sunday. Betty Carter says it was a home invasion.

“We’ve got to stop this violence,” Carter said.

Carter has lived in Montgomery her entire life. She said gun violence and crime in the city is getting worse.

“It’s a growing problem. It is a growing problem, and those names mean something now,” Carter said. “His name was not a name on a screen. He had a family.”

Carter says more needs to be done to deter crime. One example she gave was having a heavier police presence in communities.

“Just having that presence in the community I think would make a difference because for someone to do it in the middle of the day means they weren’t afraid of the consequences, and that has to change,” Carter said.

She hopes others remember her story and decide to put the guns down.

“Think about it before you pick up a gun,” Carter said. “Think about not only the impact is to your victim, but to their family and to yourself.”

“We have to care more about what’s going on. We can’t turn off the TV and pretend it’s not happening, and that’s easy to do when it doesn’t impact you,” she added.

Betty said Mario was just shy of his 39th birthday.

At Montgomery’s City Council meeting Tuesday night, city leaders did not address crime. WSFA 12 News did ask Mayor Steven Reed for comment. Reed said he plans to address crime in the city in the near future.

Police have not identified a suspect in this case. If you have information that could help in the investigation, call MPD or CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP.

Montgomery’s homicide total of 73 is the highest recorded in recent history.

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