Mother of 2 teens shot to death in Atlanta ‘trying to pull through’

The brothers, 15 and 18, are buried side by side
To’Cara Laster, 18, was being held without bond Monday at the Fulton County Jail.

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

To’Cara Laster, 18, was being held without bond Monday at the Fulton County Jail.

Belinda Oliver hadn’t yet clocked into work the afternoon she got the phone call.

Her youngest son, the one she had just dropped off at a community center, had been shot. Not again, Oliver thought.

Less than five years earlier, her older son had been shot and killed while selling water bottles outside a southwest Atlanta gas station on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Markeith Oliver, remembered as a quiet, respectful person with a passion for basketball, was 18.

When Belinda Oliver made it to Grady Memorial Hospital on Jan. 15, there was more devastating news. Kelvice Roberson Jr. had died from his injuries. He was 15.

“I’m just trying to pull through,” Oliver told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.

Markeith and Kelvice are now buried side by side at Monte Vista Biblical Gardens Cemetery in northwest Atlanta. Their mother is struggling to pay for grave markers. A GoFundMe page has been created to raise money for them.

Markeith Oliver (left), 18, was shot to death in July 2017. His 15-year-old brother, Kelvice Roberson, was shot and killed Jan. 15.

Credit: Family photos

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Credit: Family photos

“It’s really been devastating,” Belinda Oliver said. “It’s hard to lose two kids this way. They were sweet boys.”

In addition to her emotional pain, Oliver said she must remain focused on her health. In 2019, she suffered a heart attack, and doctors have advised her to limit her stress.

“If not, I’ll be right there with my boys,” she said.

Kelvice died Jan. 15 after being shot at the Dunbar Neighborhood Center on Windsor Street in southwest Atlanta, according to police. Kelvice was one of two people shot around 3:30 p.m. The other survived.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that the incident was the result of a gun transaction gone wrong involving acquaintances,” Atlanta police said in a news release.

Atlanta investigators have charged To’Cara Laster with murder, aggravated assault and armed robbery. According to arrest warrants, Laster robbed Kelvice and a man of guns before the shooting. The shooting remains under investigation, police said.

Oliver said Kelvice didn’t have a gun. She can’t understand why anyone would fire at the South Atlanta High School freshman, who was shot in the back of the head and in the chest.

Laster, 18, was arrested Jan. 25 and remains in the Fulton County Jail, where she is being held without bond.

In July 2017, an 18-year-old suspect was charged with murder and later convicted of killing Markeith Oliver. Garrison Carreker is serving a 30-year prison sentence, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Kelvice is one of three homicide victims under the age of 18 this year in Atlanta. All three were shot to death.

Last week, 6-month-old Grayson Fleming-Gray was killed in a suspected drive-by shooting, according to police. On Jan. 15, a 1-year-old girl was critically injured when another child in a Harwell Road home found an unsecured gun and fired it, police said.

Oliver is grateful to the investigators who worked on both of her sons’ cases, but arrests haven’t eased her pain.

“A lot of people don’t care about each other,” she said. “They don’t love each other. I think they need to put the guns down because a lot of people keep getting killed.”