Remembering Sgt. Carter: 'Don't let him die in vain,' chief says


    Pell City Police Chief Paul Irwin pictured with Sgt. Carter on the front row of far left during their time together at the BPD.

    Law enforcement throughout Central Alabama are remembering how Sergeant Wytasha Carter touched their lives.

    Sgt. Carter served 7 years with the Birmingham Police Department and 17 years in law enforcement. His career ended Sunday morning when he was shot while trying to make an arrest.

    For the second day in a row, ABC 33/40 Reporter Patrick Thomas spoke with officers in other cities who worked with Sgt. Carter. Pell City Police chief Paul Irwin is among them.

    Carter is the kind of officer you want your child to grow up to be, says Chief Irwin.

    "Don’t let him die in vain. Remember him. He wanted to give individuals an officer that they could look up to," the chief told ABC 33/40.

    Sgt. Carter worked under Chief Irwin in Birmingham's West Precinct.

    During that time together they teamed up to save two girls trapped inside a home in 2016.

    "We were in there and we were throwing bricks and lumbar and debris out of the way. Sgt. Carter came in and sort of nudged me to the side so we could have more people in there," says the chief.

    He says a two-story high roof collapsed through the living room. True to form Sgt. Carter rose to the occasion, the chief says.

    "We worked through the debris and got them out. He was very excited, I was very excited for all of our officers that were there that day to save these two little girls lives, because we could hear them," he says.

    The BPD West Precinct was awarded this honor for their rescue of two young girls.

    This Resolution from the House of Representatives is a nomination the men from the BPD received for their rescue of two young girls trapped underneath rubble.

    The chief says Sgt. Carter had a strong love for children that he fostered during his time as a School Resource Officer in Birmingham City Schools. After all, Sgt. Carter was a father himself.

    "He told me he wanted to do it because he wanted to have an impact on children," he says.

    During Sgt. Carter's time at the Leeds Police Department, Chief Irwin learned from his own mother, who still lives in Leeds, about the sergeant's softer side.

    "That’s where I grew up. My mother knew him because he worked (in) that community and she talked about how he would come by her house and talk with her. She told me that he was one of the police officers that would come down their street and he would see the kids playing outside and stop to talk with them."

    Chief Irwin chokes up talking about Sgt. Carter, because he sees him as a hero.

    "I think he would want to be recognized as someone who was making a difference in the community like he was when he was out and he lost his life.”

    The chief says everyone should be thinking about the fellow officers Sgt. Carter leaves behind, because now they are coming to work every day without him by their side.

    Chief Irwin says he remembers feeling pride as his captain when they made the rescue.

    Chief Irwin and his precinct, which included Sgt. Carter at the time, later received an award of valor and nomination for a similar honor from the state House of Representatives for their heroism from 2016.

    See the full interview with the chief below:


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