Family of triple homicide seeks justice; Columbus police responds

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 6:05 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - In Columbus, a family is grieving the loss of three of their own due to gun violence.

You may remember back on February 18th, News Leader 9 told you about a shooting at a Motel 6 on Victory Drive. That’s where 54-year-old Michael Carter Sr. and 19-year-old Michael Carter Jr. were shot to death. 50-year-old Tonya Carter and a toddler were also shot. The 4-year-old boy has since been released from an Atlanta hospital.

News Leader 9 learned Saturday that Tonya Carter died from her injuries.

Carter Sr. and Tonya Carter were married for decades. Carter Junior was their son, and the toddler is the couple’s grandchild.

Monday, News Leader 9′s Ashlee Williams spoke with Madison Carter said she witnessed the shootings take place, as she was on a video call with her family when it all happened.

“She had me watching my niece and nephew jumping from bed to bed playing,” Madison Carter explained. “And that’s when I saw all of the tragic stuff happen.”

The weekend of February 18th, several Columbus families were impacted by gun violence, many losing loved ones.

At the Motel 6 on Victory Drive, 54-year-old Michael Carter Sr and 19-year-old Michael Carter Jr. were both killed at the hotel, and after two weeks of fighting for her life, Tonya Carter passed away Saturday morning.

Now, 23-year-old Madison Carter is left planning funerals for her father, mother and brother, telling News Leader 9′s Ashlee Williams that she is only remaining strong because of them.

“My brother was kind-hearted. I’m not going to lie to you, my brother had his ups and downs with anger problems, but that’s all teenagers. My brother loved people,” Carter recalled. “When I tell you my momma was a loving, caring person... My momma didn’t care who it was: animals, humans, homeless, she was there for all of them. “My daddy stayed at work 24/7 to make sure he provided for us. They loved their grandchildren and their children like it was nothing in the world.”

Now, two weeks later, Carter said she has been consistently seeking answers and communication from Columbus Police.

“Ain’t nobody trying to do nothing to get justice for my family,” Carter said. “I haven’t got any updates about that case. The Columbus Police Department needs to do their job. How do they want crime to go down when they can’t even do their job?”

Columbus Police told Williams that they could not meet for an interview Monday, but released this statement from Deputy Chief Ronnie Hastings:

“The Columbus Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit has been actively investigating this incident since it happened on February 18, 2023. Homicide investigations are complex, oftentimes difficult, and they take time. I can assure you that our investigators are working as hard and as fast as they can to carefully sift through evidence and build a solid case. We have only one chance to get it right.

Every resource at our disposal is being utilized to produce an arrest and bring the family closure. When a crime like this occurs, it becomes our mission to ensure there is justice for the victims and a restored sense of trust and security in our community.”

“I don’t want to be sitting here in the dark about my family’s case,” Carter said. “I don’t want a cold case for my family. I want justice for them.”

The Carter family was temporarily staying at the hotel because the couple had just bought a home and were awaiting repairs.

As of this time, Columbus police said they are working as hard as possible to pinpoint the suspect and serve justice.