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Slain Fulton officer’s mother: It was way too soon for my baby

No one, not even Terence Avery Green, could have imagined the horrific fate of the veteran police officer. But in the last months of his life, it was almost as if he suspected his time was short, his mother said Friday.

In recent months, the 48-year-old had returned to East Point where his parents still lived, deciding he wanted to be closer to them. After working overnights as a Fulton County police officer, Green would spend time with his mother. It was while working a job he loved that Detective Green was shot and killed early Wednesday. His funeral will be at 1 p.m. March 13 at World Changers Church International in College Park.

In an interview Friday afternoon with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bertha Green said she was surprised when her younger son moved close to home.

“He would take me wherever I needed to go,” Bertha Green said.

Sometimes, he’d pick her up and take her to doctor appointments and then the two would go out for breakfast, or maybe to eat Mary Mac’s Team Room, she said. Other times, the two would go for a ride with no particular place to be, Bertha Green said. Terence said he wanted to take care of her and his father, despite his own family and career.

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“Why did he move here?” Bertha Green would ask herself. “I didn’t understand.”

As visitors continued to arrive at her home Friday, Green said she was thankful for the extra time with her son, whom she called a gift from God.

But she is angry over her son’s sudden death, allegedly by a man with a violent criminal history. Amanuel Menghesha, 42, of Fairburn, allegedly shot Detective Green in the back of the head early Wednesday as several officers responded to a report of shots being fired, according to police. Menghesha was booked late Thursday into the Fulton County jail on murder and aggravated assault charges.

“I am distraught. I cannot stand it,” Green said. “He was a delightful son. And it was way too much soon for my baby. He did not deserve that.”

A father of four sons, Terence Green graduated high school in East Point and then from Morris Brown College before joining the police force. But as a first-grader, Terence was a student in his mother’s class at Whitefoord Elementary School, she said.

“He was a delightful little student,” Bertha Green said. “He was precocious, kind, talkative.”

But as he got older, Terence didn’t want to be in the same school with his mother, so she enrolled him in Cascade Elementary, where no one could tattle on him, she said.

“Everybody knew Terence,” Green said. “They’d say ‘T, I’m gonna tell your mama on you.’ He didn’t want to hear it anymore.”

Many of his classmates have visited in the days since her son was killed, she said. At least 100 people, including other friends, co-workers and the Fulton police chief, have visited the Green family to express their condolences. And hundreds are expected to attend the officer’s funeral, including friends from other parts of the country, she said.

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