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An 11-year-old girl who appeared in an anti-gun violence video four years ago was shot to death in Madison, Wisconsin last week.
Anisa Scott was in the front passenger seat of a car that was caught in the crossfire of an apparent drive-by shooting last week. Gunshots were exchanged between two vehicles in multiple locations in Madison around noon on Aug. 11, police said. Scott, a passenger in the vehicle that police believe was targeted in the shooting, was wounded near Lexington Avenue. Authorities suspect the driver, who wasn’t identified, was the intended target of the shooting.
The driver and Scott aren’t related but are known to each other, according to investigators.
Scott’s injuries were initially described as “life-threatening," and the 11-year-old was taken off life support on Aug. 14, a representative for the family confirmed.
“This was a very innocent girl that happened to be a passenger in a car that was being targeted,” Joel DeSpain, a spokesperson for the Madison Police Department, told Oxygen.com. “The driver was the target, not her.”
No one else was harmed in the shooting, authorities said.
Andre Brown, 16, and Perion Carreon, 19, were arrested in connection with Scott’s killing. Carreon was arrested while allegedly driving a stolen car and in possession of a loaded pistol. Brown and Carreon have been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree attempted intentional homicide.
Law enforcement hasn’t released a motive in the 11-year-old's slaying.
In 2016, Scott appeared in a video condemning gun violence in Chicago. The short film, entitled “A cry for help,” shows Scott praying at a bedside in a dark room. She was 7 at the time.
“God, I just want to go outside and play like a 7-year-old is supposed to do,” Scott prayed. “I don’t want to die. God, do you ever come to Chicago? Do you see how bad it is? God, can you please heal our city?”
The scene is flanked by clips of automatic gunfire and news anchors narrating scenes of violence.
“They won’t stop shooting,” she lamented. “They won’t stop killing. They won’t stop it. God, can you make it better? Please.”
Scott’s stepfather, Rafael Charles Ragland, who directed the short film, said his video has received more than 30,000 views since Scott was gunned down.
“She wanted to pray about it because she didn’t want to die, she didn’t want that to happen to her,” Ragland, 45, told Oxygen.com. “I never thought that that would happen to her after that. It hurts me even more because I told her that that wouldn’t happen to her and it turned around and did. That’s the crazy part about it.”
The Madison filmmaker credited Scott with conceptualizing the video. Her directorial vision was inspired by a trip to Chicago, he said, where she learned of the city’s gun violence.
“She was afraid,” he explained. “She kept hearing about these Chicago stories... how violent it was, how people were just going down there to get killed.”
Scott’s family said she’ll be remembered as a “fantastic little girl,” full of “love and light” who adored monster trucks, reading to her sister, watching family movies, and playing bingo.
“I miss her so much,” her grandmother Lorene Gomez, 48, told Oxygen.com. “She doesn’t deserve this. She was peaceful. She was a very peaceful little girl. She gave her love to everyone.”
Gomez described her 11-year-old granddaughter as a “TikTok video queen” who had a big heart and a “sweet” personality. The grieving grandmother reminisced about how Scott once gave her school lunch away to a hungry peer.
“That was just her spirit, that’s just who she was,” she added. If I had to describe her in one word, it would be ‘joy.’”
Scott’s funeral will be held on Saturday in Madison.
“It’s devastating,” Michael Johnson, the CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County, told Oxygen.com. “For an 11-year-old child to lose her life the way she did, I’ve never seen anything like this in our city. But at the same time, I think it’s brought people together, like, ‘How do we protect our kids?’”
Johnson, who is helping organize Scott’s funeral, said a community march in Scott’s memory is also being planned to coincide with this weekend’s life celebration.
“I’m going to try to plan for her a heaven-on-earth type of funeral,” he added.
Scott’s death marked the 10th homicide this year in Madison. The majority of those murders were shooting-related, police said.
“We’re kind of thinking this might be a tipping point; certainly, the community is outraged,” DeSpain, the Madison Police Department spokesperson, added.
DeSpain, who called Scott’s slaying “senseless,” said the 11-year-old’s murder could be a “rallying call for unity” in the city’s fight to curb gun violence.
Madison’s mayor, Satya Rhodes-Conway, also denounced Scott’s murder on Monday.
“We mourn the tragic loss of Anisa Scott, and work together to stem gun violence,” Rhodes-Conway wrote on Twitter. “This has to stop.”
Brown and Carreon are currently in custody, pending trial, according to police and online jail records. Carreon’s initial court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday. Brown, who is only a teenager, will be tried as an adult due to the “severity of the crime,” according to Madison police. It’s unclear if they’ve retained legal counsel.
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