MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The family of a man shot to death at a Whitehaven apartment complex is opening up after his accused killer was arrested.
Eric Monger, 26, was gunned down at the New Horizon Apartments on Thursday.
Terry Moton, 18, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree murder.
One of Monger’s loved ones agreed to speak to WREG under the condition we not show his face or use his name.
He said the family knew Moton well, and that he had spent a lot of time with them.
“[He’s] a child himself. Don’t even know what he’s done,” he said. “All because of guns that you could replace.”
Investigators say Moton shot and killed Monger, a father of five, because he thought he had stolen his 9-mm handgun.
Monger’s loved ones were at the complex Thursday when police say Moton gunned him down as he was leaving his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.
“He was just happy. Next thing you know, we heard three shots, but we didn’t pay no mind to it,” he said. “I look out the other window, I see a body, and I’m like, ‘Ooh, that’s Eric.”
Monger’s kids were also inside when it happened, and loved ones say one of his daughters saw her father laying dead on the ground after he was shot.
“One of the older ones said, ‘That’s my daddy,'” he said.
That same day, Moton was indicted on an assault charge from November.
And Monger himself had a lengthy criminal past. His family says he had just been released from jail two weeks ago after serving three months on a probation violation charge.
But his family says, despite that, he was a good person and a great father.
“He always got the kids and took them somewhere, or cut their hair, or he’d do anything,” Monger’s relative said. “Anything he could do for the kids, he’s gonna do it.”
“He was good father. He loved his three kids and he loved his baby mama,” Monger’s children’s aunt said. “He was like family to us.”
And she says his murder has the entire family living in fear.
“We’re scared to even go outside,” she said. “His kids are traumatized by it.”
New Horizon Apartments has a history of problems, including at least three shootings last year and another last month that killed a 41-year-old man.
As for Moton, he’s being held in jail without bond.
He will make his first court appearance Monday morning.