Brenda Arter still doesn’t have any answers.
Three-and-a-half months ago, on Jan. 16, a warm, Saturday evening, her grandson, 25-year-old Antonio Miller, died after being shot three times in the head in an empty lot on Edgely Street near 18th.
“My whole family has been torn apart,” Arter, 67, said last Saturday. “This has hurt, this has wounded us deeply. We’ve been pierced, our hearts have been pierced.”
Arter added since Miller was killed, she doesn’t leave her home, unless it is to sit on the steps just outside her door. She keeps a brown pillow sitting next to the heavy black door of her home on Bouvier Street near Susquehanna Avenue, and uses it as a cushion as she talks.
Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone told The Temple News in January there was one gunshot for each suspect in the murder.
“A witness heard two gunshots and then saw two males appearing to be juveniles run from a vacant lot,” Leone said. “[The] witness then heard a third gunshot and a third male ran from the lot.”
Miller was taken to Temple University Hospital and pronounced dead later that evening.
“To date the motive is unknown and there is no arrest,” wrote Philadelphia Police spokeswoman Tanya Little in an email Friday.
In January, Little told The Temple News the suspects wore all-black clothing and could be in their late teens to early 20s. They were seen running south from the lot on 18th Street.
Arter said neither police nor anybody in the community has come forward with more information on the death of her grandson.
“I figured with all the people in the community who knew him, somebody would have something to say,” she said. “So as far as what [police have] done about it, nothing. What the community has done about it, nothing. If they know something, they talk, nothing. All the surveillance cameras the community say they have, nothing’s on them.”
Arter said she has posted her phone number throughout the community in the hopes that if somebody knows something, they will contact her. If people are afraid to talk to the police, she said, she will talk for them.
While the investigation has not yet revealed any new information, Arter said she has her suspicions of why her grandson was killed.
“I’ve heard all wonderful kinds of things about him,” she said. “That he’s been helping people in the community, seniors … and I didn’t know how many of them. I was happy to hear that just because [you’re] out here in the street don’t mean [you’re] a bad guy.”
“They killed him. They set him up and they killed him because he was all over the community,” she added.
In January, Brian, 55, told The Temple News he believed Miller’s death was intended, and was uncomfortable giving his last name with the shooters still at large.
“They were trying to kill,” he said. “These young guys are crazy.”
“In my opinion, they will get theirs,” Arter said as she stood up and grabbed her pillow to bring back into her house. “They will be my footstools because I will see justice. Maybe not in my day because it may take a long time, but it’s coming.”
Julie Christie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChristieJules.