By Reg Chapman


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A mother who lost her son to gun violence is finding comfort in knowing his faith was a big part of who he was.

Da’Qwan Jones-Morris, 17, was captain of the football team at Henry Sibley High School.

He became St. Paul’s 28th homicide victim when two of his friends were playing with a stolen gun and hit him in the chest.

His mother, Monica Jones, and brother, Brandon Jones, spoke to WCCO’s Reg Chapman about the legacy he leaves behind.

“My kids grew up in the church, and the church was a big part of they life,” Monica said.

She wanted to speak about her son Da’Qwan in one of the places he loved the most.

“He had a lot of church aunties and church uncles and brothers that he reached out to or counted on,” Monica said.

Da’Qwan and his brother Brandon were raised at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. He loved to sing with his church family on Youth Sunday.

Da’Qwan Jones-Morris (credit: Nazsare English)

“Da’Qwan was always like louder than everybody. So like he tried to make himself really stand out. We all knew Da’Qwan was there,” Brandon said.

The 17-year-old loved to laugh. He loved people and took pride in making everyone around him happy.

Monica says she kept her sons busy so they would not fall victim to street life.

“I had their days and their weeks packed from after-school programs, to freedom schools in the summertime, to choir rehearsal on Saturdays,” she said.

Da’Qwan’s life was taken by a bullet from a stolen gun a friend was handling.

“I do believe that there is a plan. Like, I believe that Da’Qwan was an excellent servant of Christ. He definitely believed in God, and I don’t think I would be this strong if we didn’t have that faith,” Monica said.

Pastor Al Gallmon has faith his community will begin to do the right thing.

“If we don’t have a national discussion about gun violence in our own community, it’s going to get continually worse,” Gallmon said.

Something this family does not want is another family to feel the pain they do now.

“I just want everybody to just try to stay safe, and just never stop loving my brother. I’ll never stop loving him,” Brandon said.

Da’Qwan was not only a two-sport standout, he was also a scholar who spent the weekend before his death filling out college applications.

A fund has been set up in his honor. His family hopes to start a scholarship for young men with dreams of going to school who need financial help.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Jones-Morris family with funeral expenses.

Reg Chapman