Shooting victim’s mother seeks justice as community mourns – Beaumont Enterprise



After an aneurysm left Deborah Martin hospitalized in 2001, her then-13-year-old son Antonio “A Tone” Wilson’s shining face helped her recover.

“Every time I opened my eyes at the hospital, he was always there,” Martin said. “He would say, ‘Mama, you are going to be OK. Mama, you are going to be OK. Mama, I love you.’”

Three days after Wilson, 32, was shot to death in the 5900 block of Bedford Drive in Beaumont, Martin said she could not go home, knowing that Wilson would not be there when she opens her eyes.


Hundreds of people showed up at Charlton Pollard Park for a balloon release late Sunday afternoon to remember and honor Wilson. Many wore shirts that had “Justice for A Tone” written on them. The multicolored balloons represented the color in which Wilson lived his live, family said.



Albert Turner said while in high school, he and Wilson were always in competition to see who could throw the biggest parties.

“I was one year older than Tone,” Turner said. “I was considered the best out here. One day, we ended up throwing parties on the same night. He beat me.


“It was the first time in my life that anyone beat me. He was smart. He let everyone in for free.

“He didn’t do it to make money. He took a loss financially just to outdo me. I told him that it doesn’t count if he didn’t make money.”

The two party titans later got together and considered the prospect of joining forces.

“From that day on, we started getting our groups together,” Turner said. “It started off as just throwing events at night clubs.


“Every time our names are together, the fire marshals have to come out because of the amount of people we can pull.”

Within years, the two turned their attention away from club promotion to focus on community-driven events.

“We started looking at things like Hoops for Toys and feed-the-homeless drives,” Turner said.

“We’ve done a back-to-school drive for the past eight years. We went from just two guys that like to throw parties to two guys that love to take care of the community.”

Turner said while he had the business mind, Wilson brought the heart. On social media, posts dedicated to Wilson ended with #HeartofBMT. Many reminisced on the several times photos of Wilson’s elaborate Halloween costumes left the internet abuzz.


For Halloween 2015, Wilson wore a wig and a diaper and recreated the cover for Biggie Smalls’ “Ready to Die.” The picture was shared by Amber Rose and amassed more than 100,000 likes on Instagram. The following year, Wilson recreated a photo of a rapper Tupac Shakur in a bathtub covered with jewelry.

“He loved Halloween,” Turner said. “He would plan months in advance. He was already prepared for this year. He had three ideas he was going to choose from, but he was absolutely ready for it.”

Martin said Wilson was set to begin a new job today after being laid off from a construction company in Louisiana because of the coronavirus pandemic. She said Wilson, who has a 2-year-old son, was a safety manager and was always looking for new ways to grow.

“He wasn’t the life of the party, he was the party,” she said. “I don’t care where he went or what he was doing. It could be sad, but he lit up the room. There was never a dull moment with him.”

Beaumont police asked that people in the area where the shooting occurred check their cameras for anything that could aid police in the investigation. As of Sunday evening, no arrests have been made and BPD had not released a potential motive behind the shooting.

Wilson’s death marked the city’s 10th homicide.

“I feel as though (the shooters) knew who he was,” Martin said. “Beaumont knows him. I feel as though he knew who shot him.

“My prayer is that God saves them and heals them. I want justice to be served and that God touches their hearts. Why you take my son’s life? I don’t know. I don’t know what you gain from it, but as his mother, I’m asking the Lord to touch your heart.”


chris.moore@beaumontenterprise.com

twitter.com/chris_moore09





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