By Wesley Marin
“That grocery store was her dream,” said Shirley Shaw, mother of slain AC Grocery owner, Terra Fountain Quarles, 41.
On Monday afternoon, Quarles lost her life during a gunfire exchange after a 33-year-old, Joshua Levi Hilton, robbed her convenience store. Hilton later died at a local hospital from injuries he sustained from the incident.
According to police, this case is still under investigation. On Tuesday evening, local citizens gathered in front of AC Grocery for a candlelight prayer vigil I honor of Terra.
“This tragedy is a clarion call, not just to us as a race, but it is a clarion call to everyone that lives in this city and in this community that something has to be done about the violence going on in our communities,” said Pastor Paul Jonathan Porterfield of Cathedral of His Love.
Pastor Porterfield said he was prompted to initiate the candlelight prayer vigil to ease some of the family’s pain. But that wasn’t the only reason.
“We have to do something,” Porterfield said. “I don’t know if any contact has been made with this family from the mayor or from any of the city officials, but the reality is something has to be done about the violence –sense less violence – that’s going on in our communities.
Kelyton Maxwell, a faithful AC Grocery patron said he’s traumatized by Terra’s death.
“She was a good woman,” Maxwell said. “If you were short on anything, she would let you slide.”
If you were hungry, she would feed you,” Maxwell continued. “She looked out for the community.”
Terra grew up in Pensacola, graduating from Booker T. Washington in 1988. She moved to Atlanta and there she worked and raised her son, Antwaun.
While in Atlanta she met her husband Everitt Quarles.
“She was a real Black woman,” Everitt said. “She could be real hard one moment, and then, she could be real loving too.”
“She would always work,” Everitt continued. “She would get up early in the morning and go to bed early. That’s what I loved most about her. She was an independent woman. I loved her drive. She raised her son alone before we got married.
Everitt said he and Terra shared a “unique” and special bond.
“I knew she was the one,” said that Atlanta native. “She brought such much to my life … and when I met Terra, she encouraged me to give my life to Christ. When she would get up and cook a breakfast of egg whites and turkey sausage, she would have her Bible right there next to her. She would always read her bible.”
Everitt says his wife acknowledged him as head of the household even though he may not have made the best decisions in the past.
“… I would do things my way,” he said. “But if I had listened to her and did it the way she wanted to do it, we would have got [things] done quicker and saved a lot of money.”
Everitt says he cherishes all the moments he had with Terra.
“She was a good woman.”