What is a Silent Witness and how do you become one?

Dala Tarvin wants one thing for Mother’s Day: to know who shot and killed her 17-year-old son.  

Saturday, she joined Phoenix police in pleading for anyone with information about the Feb. 18, 2016, murder of Demetric Carter to come forward. 

“He was just a good kid. He was my kid,” said Tarvin of Phoenix.

Wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Carter and words reading “King Carter,” Tarvin shared her last day with her son, and how she has struggled since he died.

“This is my son and never in my life did I think, at 17, I’d bury my son,” she said. “I don’t understand how something so special could be taken from someone.” 

She is urging anyone with information to help find the two men who police have said were involved in the shooting. Anyone with information can contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or via Reports can be made anonymously. 

“If he meant anything to anybody, I mean, don’t stay silent. Say something. I would, he would,” Tarvin said. “I know somebody knows something … Somebody saw something somewhere.”

She pleaded with the public not to fear the shooters.

“The person who took my son, he isn’t bigger than the cops, he isn’t bigger than God,” she said.

What happened

On Feb. 18, 2016, Carter and two friends were approached in their car in a parking lot at 234 W. Southern Ave. in Phoenix by the men, according to police.

It was about 11 p.m.

The men then fired several rounds, striking Carter and his friends. Cartier died, and the two others were seriously injured. 

Several people fled the area and may have seen what happened, police said. 

A mother’s intuition

Tarvin said she saw her son the day of the shooting at her sister’s house. He stopped in to take a shower, change clothes and eat, she said.

When he was about to leave, he gave his mother some love.

“He would always hug me and kiss me before he left, but this Thursday he did it three times,” said Tarvin. “He got in the car, they drove out of the driveway and then came right back and he kissed me. Then the third time, I felt like, ‘What?’ “

She said she felt uneasy all day, and called and texted him several times to check in. She checked his phone’s location throughout the day.

She was supposed to go out with friends that night, but asked them to take her home after suddenly beginning to feel more upset, she said. 

The next morning, she was drinking coffee, folding clothes and watching the news when she heard what happened. She checked his phone location and it matched. 

She called both her sister and her brother and then raced to the scene. 

“The thing about a mother’s love and intuition from a mom, I knew something wasn’t right,” she said. 

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