Anisa made a powerful contribution to the anti-gun violence movement at the age of 7 when she appeared in a video as a tearful child praying for a little boy who was shot and killed in Chicago.
Trigger warning: This report contains details of gun violence that readers may find disturbing
An 11-year-old girl, who was the face of a powerful video against gun violence four years ago, has become the latest victim of a surge in gun violence this summer. Young Anisa Scott was riding in a car on August 11 when she was caught in the crossfire of a shooting between two vehicles, revealed the Madison Police Department. She was placed in a medically-induced coma at a local hospital, where she was taken with life-threatening injuries and pronounced dead at 11:11 a.m. on Thursday, August 11, after her family made the agonizing decision to remove her from life support.
“7-year-old Anisa Scott begs God in this video from 2016 to help stop gun violence. Four years later, she is shot and killed.” https://t.co/IMsMbiLN4h— Stop Handgun Violence (@stophandguns) August 20, 2020
"As a family decision, we want to let you all know we thank you for your love, your support, outpouring of blessings," Anisa’s grandmother, Loren Gomez, said through tears at a press event announcing the family's decision, reports NBC15. "We need to end the gang violence. We lost a precious child because of it." According to ABC13, Anisa made a powerful contribution to the anti-gun violence movement at the age of 7 when she appeared in a video as a tearful child praying for a little boy who was shot and killed in Chicago.
Anisa Scott died today after being taken off life support. The young gunshot victim has left a large impression on the community. Tonight on 27 News we will show the effect her death is having on family and local leaders. Read more about her passing here: https://t.co/twsb707snx pic.twitter.com/BwB2bP4IHS— WKOW 27 (@WKOW) August 13, 2020
"I just want to play like a 7-year-old is supposed to. I don't want to die," Anisa says in the video, which was filmed by Rafael Charles Ragland, her 5-year-old half-sister Anija's father. "Heavenly Father, can you please listen to me 'cause I am so scared? God, no one else is fixing Chicago. So I'm asking you, can you please fix Chicago? I get all A's in school. I'm really good. But can you do this for me, please? They won't stop shooting. They won't stop killing. They won't stop it. God, can you make it better, please?"
According to PEOPLE, Ragland — a local filmmaker — revealed that he captured the emotional moment on camera after Anisa came back from a trip to Chicago and learned about gun violence in the city. He said the young girl "believed God could fix it" and decided to pray in her bedroom, which is now seen in the video that has received over 30,000 views in the wake of her death. "I'm so confused honestly because the same thing she was praying about, praying that it doesn't happen to her, then it turns around and happens to her," he said. "It just devastates me."
A Wisconsin child who was once the face of an anti-gun violence video, has fallen victim herself. Four years ago, little Anisa Scott touched hearts with a video tearfully praying for an end to gun violence. https://t.co/hbdWaYA7pC— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) August 21, 2020
"It brought me to tears right there when I was filming it, seeing the things that she was asking God," Ragland recalled. The Madison Police Department said in a statement that Anisa was in a car with her mother's boyfriend heading to a store when a vehicle pulled up alongside them and shot at their car. "The victim was a passenger in a car that detectives believe was targeted by a gunman; however, they indicate the driver, not the 11-year-old, was the person being shot at," the department stated. Three male suspects — 19-year-old Perion Carreon, 16-year-old Andre Brown, and 17-year-old Jerry Ward — have since been arrested in connection with the shooting.
Both @MayorOfMadison and @madisonpolice joined a virtual presser today to announce a 3rd arrest in the shooting of 11-year-old Anisa Scott.— Adam Duxter (@News3Adam) August 20, 2020
Interim Chief Vic Wahl says despite the arrest, gun violence in Madison continues to be a significant issue. @WISCTV_News3 #News3Now pic.twitter.com/DRXxT3AiQ0
Meanwhile, a group of Black community organizers, religious leaders, nonprofit heads, and City Council members have spoken out about the need to break a cycle of violence since Anisa's death. "I come to you today not to talk about the COVID pandemic, but to talk about the pandemic of gun violence that has affected every corner of our city," City Council President Sheri Carter said at a news conference in Penn Park on the South Side, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. "We need to stop the hate, stop the retaliation, put down the guns — the collateral damage is too great of a burden for you to bear."