Who is Sunshine Carter? Survivor recalls horror of NJ mass shooting that left Asia Hester, Kevin Elliot dead

'I was sitting on a chair talking to my daughter and a friend. We were laughing. Next thing I knew, I hear shots fired, like 20 shots,' Carter, 44, said. 'Then it stopped, then ten, 15 more. I didn’t know if they had to reload'


                            Who is Sunshine Carter? Survivor recalls horror of NJ mass shooting that left Asia Hester, Kevin Elliot dead
Asia Hester and Kevin Elliott were shot and killed in a South Jersey suburb during a shootout that injured a dozen others. It was a birthday party that turned into a nightmare (Getty Images)

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY: A family house party turned into a bloodbath as two people died and 12 others were injured in a mass shooting. Survivors are reportedly very shaken.

Asia Hester, 25, and Kevin Elliott, 30, were shot and killed in the South Jersey suburb on Saturday, May 22. The shootout is believed to be the result of a 'turf war' between local gangs. Hester reportedly lived less than a mile from the shooting location. The 1990s-themed party was for her nephew.

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Who is Sunshine Carter?

The 44-year-old was also a guest at the party. Carter said the female homeowner is a “family-oriented woman” who was throwing the birthday bash for her nephew. The party, among other things, featured a DJ, tents, and security, Carter said. 

“I was sitting on a chair talking to my daughter and a friend. We were laughing. Next thing I knew, I hear shots fired, like 20 shots,” Carter said of the deadly gunfire that broke out. “Then it stopped, then ten, 15 more. I didn’t know if they had to reload. I didn’t know if it was two shooters, one shooter. I was running for my dear life. A girl ran in front of me, got shot. It could have been me. My friend was trying to help her.”

Carter described how she was frantically searching for her kids amid the chaos. “They’re grown, but they’re still my kids. I’m running around looking for them, I can’t find them. I can’t find my phone to call them,’’ Carter said. “I’m being trampled on. All because we had a family barbecue. We were having a good day, a good time. These idiots just come in and shoot innocent people, and for what? Why? Just crazy.”

“I didn’t see anybody arguing before. It was just out of the blue -- pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. And we hauled a... We’ve never been through anything like this before. This is a family home,” Carter said. “And to come when everyone’s having a good time and just start shooting? Come on now, you bastards.”

A friend of Elliott’s, who has not been named, called his death “tragic.” They said, “He was a good kid who’d made his peace with life and had trouble with nobody. He showed up to a party to celebrate a happy occasion and ended up dead. I can’t make sense of it.”

Hester’s sister, Crystal, said on Sunday, “I talked to her yesterday before she went [to the party]. She didn’t deserve this." A male relative of Hester said, “She was a good person, very respectable. It’s just a tragic situation. Something’s got to be done.”

One female guest at the party who has not been named said, “It’s South Side young boys vs North Side young boys. This has been going on since the ’60s, and now they’re getting crazier with it. They’re bringing guns. Usually, when they do that, they let off a couple [rounds], and that’s it. But last night, they just kept going. People were running, falling. People were dying. It went on for five, ten minutes, running from bullets.”

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