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

Brooke Taylor Image
Monday, April 3, 2023
On 13: Mother of rapper murdered in River Oaks says she warned him
Bernita Ward said her son's online persona is not how she knew him, and she believed retaliation was the motive for her son's unexpected death.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The mother of a rapper known as BTB Savage confirmed to ABC13 that her son was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in the River Oaks area on Thursday.

Bernita Ward said she tried to warn her son and believes violence and retaliation led to his murder. She said her son's online persona is not how she knew him.

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

"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.

Earlier this week, 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 Thursday, 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.

SEE ALSO: People who work, live in River Oaks shocked to learn of alleged targeted shooting that left man dead

"I said take that off social media," Ward said. "Let this family mourn in peace. They were taunting my son, though, telling him they were going to kill the family, make his momma 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.

"The moral of this story is two mothers lost two amazing sons and that their children would be raised without fathers," Ward said. "That's the sad thing."

Now Ward is forced to mourn the loss of her son, whom she tried desperately to keep out of danger.

"I want to encourage all the youth, stop the violence," Ward said. "Stop the violence. Do something different with your life. I am fully aware of who my son is. The violence that takes place in these streets with these youth is so unnecessary. Kill your debt, kill the negativity. Don't kill each other."

ABC13 has contacted San Antonio Police about the alleged deadly robbery in February and is waiting to hear back.

Houston police say the suspects accused of shooting Gentry were in a black Subaru. The two suspects, who were dressed in black with hoodies and shades on, got out of the vehicle and fled on San Felipe, according to police.

Ward said her son's apartment has surveillance cameras and said his apartment was robbed shortly after he was killed. She said she has handed all videos to authorities and is confident there will be an arrest soon.

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