KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A man with Knoxville area roots has been killed in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Caribbean territory while returning from an excursion, according to reports.

While a report by the Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police doesn’t identify the American tourist killed in the incident, his family shared with WATE that it was Kent Carter, who was born and raised in Anderson County.

According to Carter’s Facebook, he was the vice president of the NAACP Arlington Branch chapter.

Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police Commander Trevor Botting states in the release that the shooting occurred around 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. The police agency said it was a “targeted attack” on a vehicle containing staff from a local business and two tourists who were being taken back to their accommodation after an excursion.

“As a result of this attack, two persons were murdered, one from the local business and the other being a tourist from the United States,” Botting states. “Our deepest condolences go out to the families of those murdered. Three other persons were injured, including the other visitor to the TCI.”

Carter worked as a realtor in the Arlington, Va. area, according to his Realtor.com profile. The profile states Carter was born and raised in East Tennessee and moved to the northern Virginia area in 2009. The profile also states Carter was a combat veteran who served five years in the U.S. Army, and spent 15 years in the federal law enforcement industry before getting into real estate.

The suspect vehicle escaped from police interception after a shootout with officers, the press release states.

“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,” Botting states. “This violence is linked to drugs supply and is fueled by revenge, turf wars and retribution.”

This is a developing story. Download the WATE 6 News app to get updates sent to your phone.

Botting’s statement goes on to detail how the police force will fight, within the confines of the law, any threat by criminals and gangs; adding that: “We know our communities are shocked and frightened by the levels of violence on the TCI in the last few months. The levels of violence would challenge a Police Force many times the size of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.” 

Additional details about Carter were not yet available.