(Memphis) For decades, the Easy Way produce stores have been a staple in the Memphis community, dating back to 1932 when Pete Carter, the current owners' grandfather, opened the first location.
Jim Cross is an Easy Way customer
"This is a well-established business. It's been here forever. It has major clientele," Cross said.
It's almost no surprise that customers can't believe 57-year-old David Carter, the Easy Way co-owner, was shot and killed at the company's distribution center on South Mendenhall Monday morning.
Police say Carter was murdered inside the business during a robbery. They aren't saying what was taken, but he was likely ambushed when he arrived alone.
"This is really sad," Cross said.
Easy Way's website shows pictures of several generations of the Carter family and tells how David and his brother, Barry, Jr., expanded the produce-only stores throughout Memphis.
Customers such as Jim Cross and Millie Higgenbottom remember meeting and talking with David Carter, and say he was a big reason they shopped here.
"I met him before in here, talking with him about their products and where they get their produce and that type of thing. I'm interested in that. I raise a garden myself," Cross said.
"I came here all the time and I go to the one on Winchester and I've been to the one on Mendenhall. I have met him, but that was just awful. That's really awful," Higgenbottom said.
Many friends turned to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to offer their condolences to the Carter family and express their sadness and anger about their loss.
David Carter was a business owner many described as a friendly, hardworking man who had a great relationship with customers.
"Nice guy. He gave us good deals. we bought for our church and he gave us cases of stuff at good prices. Nice guy, really nice guy," Higgenbottom said.
Carter was married to DeSoto County Justice Court Judge Karen Sanders-Carter.