ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Community members came together Friday night to continue the conversation on how to stop the cycle of gun violence.
“Your kid is supposed to bury you, you’re not supposed to bury your kid,” Maress Scott said.
Scott is on a mission to save lives since losing his son to gun violence in September 2019.
“The horror lives with you and you’ll never get over it,” he said. “But you have to move forward with it.”
Marquis Scott, 20, lost is life after witnessing a deadly shooting, his father said.
“Found himself in a car with some guys he knew from middle school and one of the guys shot a kid and they figured my son was going to tell so they came back and they murdered my son,” Scott said.
Through the organization, Quis for Life, which he started in memory of his son, Scott visits neighborhoods, schools and rec centers.
“We create the pledge,” he said. “We create the five keys to end gun violence training and we’ll go out and help these kids adopt non-violent lifestyles so we can begin to heal our community.”
The pledge, which Scott said has been signed more than 5,000 times, says “Instead of using a gun (or any other weapons), I will use my mind, my heart and my mouth to solve any issue.”
Scott took part in a panel discussion Friday night on gun violence prevention hosted by the Warehouse Arts District Association in St. Pete.
“The world is on fire,” said Markus Gottschlich, executive director of the Warehouse Arts District Association. “Our communities are struggling. Look what happened in Maine. Then a couple days ago in Ybor City and turns out same night something extremely tragic happened here in south St. Petersburg.”
After the discussion, there was also a special performance with the “Instrument of Hope.”
“It really speaks to the power of the arts,” Gottschlich said.
The trumpet was created in response to the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
“You can help people to heal and I think that horn they have today, that horn of hope that’s made of bullet casings after the Parkland murders can spread hope,” Scott said.