SAN ANTONIO – A District 2 widow is calling for change within her community after her husband was gunned down outside of his home on May 31.
Etoy McGarity said her husband, Charles Pryor, 48, had so many great qualities, including being a mentor to children on the East Side.
“His smile was one of the best things,” McGarity said. “He was everything to us. He loved kids and loved football and sports. He promoted clubs, events and was an owner of his own nightclub. He enjoyed being a coach and coaching kids and would even help sponsor a child who couldn’t afford playing little league football.”
Three days before Pryor’s daughter graduated high school, he was shot and killed.
“My dad was my best friend,” said Kristal McGarity, Pryor’s youngest child and only daughter. “Everywhere you looked, it was him with me and me with him. It was hard walking across that stage without my dad being there. He was so excited because I was graduating early. I just wanted him to be there.”
That dark evening, Etoy McGarity said her husband had a bad feeling.
“It was a regular day, and at some part of the day, my husband got a hunch that something was going on,” Etoy McGarity said. “He addressed it with me and his daughter, and I didn’t believe that what he was feeling was going to happen. Once I got in bed because I had to go to work in the morning, he started saying he wanted us to leave. I refused. I don’t know if he got a call or what, but he said he was going to be outside because he would die before anything happened to me or his daughter.”
Etoy McGarity said, not long after those final words spoken by her husband, she heard gunfire.
“They shot our house up over 100 times,” Etoy McGarity said. “The police didn’t have enough markers for the shell casings on the ground. When I heard the gunshots, I went to our daughter’s room, and I don’t know how she wasn’t hit. She was on the floor, and bullets were coming in through her walls. I then started hearing bullets passing my ear, so I got her and took her to my room and told her to stay.”
Etoy McGarity said when she went to see what exactly was going on, her heart broke.
“I was stunned because when I went down the hallway to go to the door, there was a lot of smoke and holes everywhere. I got to the doors, and I looked from my left and my right, and I saw him laying there,” Etoy McGarity said. “To hear him breathing and taking his last breaths, he knew I was with him. I just told him to calm down, and I loved him. I called 911, and they were asking all of these questions.”
Kristal McGarity saw her father also.
“She was screaming and crying, and I was trying to stay strong and to calm her down,” Etoy McGarity said.
Since the shooting, the family has moved, and Etoy McGarity said she struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The thing is, is this is going to stop?” Etoy McGarity questioned. “I am most fearful that this is going to continue. If I don’t stand up, this is going to continue to happen. This has got to stop.”
Etoy McGarity said Pryor hasn’t always been on the right path.
“Charlie was 48, and would have been 49 in July,” Etoy McGarity said. “Back in the day, Charlie was no angel, but he grew up, and once he grew up and accepted the Lord as his savior in Christ, he wanted to do more.”
That very reason is why Pryor gravitated to children in his community and coaching little league football for the Junior Hurricanes.
“He coached for 10 years,” Etoy McGarity said. “He loved children, particularly boys, to keep them out of what he grew up and chose to do. The type of things he grew up doing, he didn’t want them kids going and veering into that type of thing.”
Etoy McGarity said she is not at a point of forgiveness just yet.
“I will say to them that you came to my house, and you attacked me and my daughter and killed my husband,” she said. “We were attacked. God bless you. The Lord is the only person, only force, the only anything that can just say who goes. You terrorized my daughter and myself and killed my husband. You think you’re God? Well, you should look up because he is laughing. God bless you because what he is going to do to you, you are going to need it.”
Etoy McGarity said she is now using her energy to hold the city officials accountable.
“I want to see more engagement. I am not against the police. I feel like more engagement with the community will bridge the gap. They need to engage with where they are working. They don’t live here in District 2. You need to engage with us. Pull up, speak to us. Get out them cars,” she said. “When you engage in the community, you will find out a of what is going on in the community. The sad thing is that they know what is going on here, but they don’t care, and we feel neglected. All we are asking them to do is do their jobs. Protect and serve because that is what we pay them to do."
She said she holds the community responsible as well.
“What happened to the Black on Black march? Black on Black crime is what is going on here,” Etoy McGarity said. “It is a big march when a white person kills a Black man, I’m sorry, but it is also a big thing when a Black man kills another Black man. It is a big thing when anyone is killed.”
While she fights for justice and change, she had this message for her community:
“You are for the problem because you don’t want this to stop, or you are not for the problem because you want this to stop, so you need to stand,” Etoy McGarity said. “I ask you to stand against what is going on in our district.”
San Antonio police are asking anyone with any information to call Crimestoppers at 210-224-7867.