MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dressed in the colors of Henry Sibley High School, a community came together to honor a life ended just as it was starting.
The funeral for Da’Qwan Jones-Morris was held on Saturday afternoon at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, the same church where Jones-Morris was baptized and sang in the youth choir. He was a senior and served as the co-captain of the football team.
“We are just so blessed to have had the time we had with him and we love him,” Peter Usset, one of Jones-Morris’s football coaches, said.
“Very compassionate, loving. He didn’t meet a stranger. If he met you once, you were a friend for life,” Cheryl Jones, Jones-Morris’s aunt, said.
He had plans to attend a Minnesota college after graduation, but those dreams were shattered. Last Wednesday, two of his friends were playing with a stolen gun when a bullet hit him in the chest.
“There is much more love for him in this room and that love will always remain,” Jasmine Jones, Jones-Morris’s cousin, said.
As the funeral was happening, community members were sharing their thoughts and ideas about public safety.
“This afternoon, that family and those friends are burying Da’Qwan. We are a community that has no good reasons why they should have to,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said.
Saturday marked the last of three meetings organized by Carter in light of recent gun violence.
“We don’t want to have to talk about gun violence in our communities. We don’t want to have to talk about how we keep from losing teenagers in our communities,” Carter said.
Carter intends to present a supplemental public safety budget proposal yet this month based on the input received from the community meetings. He has already started working with City Council to begin identifying a set of investments in response to the feedback from residents.
Da’Qwan Jones-Morris is one of 29 people killed so far this year in St. Paul.
Two teenage boys have been charged with second-degree manslaughter in his death.