Police put name, face on man accused of killing rapper BTB Savage near River Oaks

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Saturday, April 8, 2023
40-year-old charged with murder a week after BTB Savage killed
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Police are looking for 40-year-old Montrel Lenard Burley, who is charged in the murder of rapper BTB Savage.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Days after a murdered rapper's mother confirmed to ABC13 that her son was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in the River Oaks area, police have released the name and photo of the suspect wanted in his killing.

Montrel Lenard Burley, 40, is charged with murder.

Burley and at least one other suspect, who has not been identified, are both wanted in the murder of 26-year-old Darrell Gentry, who went by the name BTB Savage.

"I want to thank everybody," Genry's mom Bernita Ward told ABC13 on Friday. "It's just been an amazing journey. It's been very hard. I pray no parent has to bury a child."

On March 30, Houston police responded to a drive-by shooting in the 4600 block of San Felipe at Mid Lane, where they found Gentry with a gunshot wound in the parking garage. He died at the scene.

Witnesses told police two people sped off in a black Subaru SUV.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Man gunned down in what police believe was a targeted incident near River Oaks, HPD chief say

Ward said she tried to warn her son and believes violence and retaliation led to his murder.

"My son knew something was up. That's why he was trying to leave," Ward said. "When my son pulled out, he was heading to the airport to come to me, but they killed him."

She said her son's online persona is not how she knew him.

"I never refer to him at BTB Savage, the Instagram mogul," Ward said. 'I am not one of those parents to cover up your child's lifestyle.'"

To her, he was just Darrell Gentry, his legal name. According to Ward, Gentry served in the military for four years and was a father to a 4-year-old son, which she is most proud of.

In February, Ward says her son believed he was going to be featured in a song, and she recalls him calling her excited because his rapping career was starting to kick off.

Instead, she says a group showed up to his apartment in San Antonio and tried to rob him.

Recently, the rapper did a now-viral interview with VLAD-TV, describing how he and his girlfriend fought off the would-be robber.

Gentry talked at length about how he instructed his girlfriend to shoot the alleged intruder. In the interview, he said he told the suspect, who was pleading for help, "I don't give a (expletive) about you. You're going to die."

When the interviewer asked if he was concerned about retaliation, he said, "They might do what they do, but I'm going to get active. That's all that it is."

On the day of his death, the rapper posted on social media, standing in the middle of a bloody crime scene. Hours later, Houston police said he was shot in a drive-by shooting in the 2100 block of Mid Lane.

While her son defended himself and did not deserve to die, Ward said she warned him to stop posting on social media and doing interviews.

"I said take that off social media," she said. "Let this family mourn in peace. They were taunting my son, though, telling him they were going to kill the family, make his mother cry, and kill his son. I told my son, 'Don't respond. Let it go.' But their family member came to rob my son."

Ward says she doesn't have any doubts that her son's death is tied to the deadly robbery.


Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Montrel Burley or the identity of the other wanted suspect is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or speak anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

According to Texas DPS, Burley has previous convictions in San Antonio and Victoria for drug possession, unlawful carrying of a weapon, resisting arrest, failure to appear and failure to ID a fugitive.

PREVIOUS STORY: Only On 13: Mother of rapper BTB Savage speaks after he's murdered near River Oaks

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