WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - A D.C. artist has spent years painting the city’s youngest murder victims and this week, he had to take out another blank canvas to honor another young life lost.
Demont Pinder spent part of his Memorial Day with a paintbrush in hand after the killing of Maurice Scott, 15, the day before.
“I just started putting colors on my blank canvas and capturing his face,” said Pinder.
Scott was an honor roll student at Somerset Prep D.C. who loved playing basketball. He was one of four people shot at a Congress Heights shopping center on Sunday morning. No arrests have been made.
Pinder says he’s lost track of how many paintings he’s done of young murder victims.
“It’s been too many,” he said. “Honestly, I wish I didn’t have to paint no more under them circumstances.”
Pinder’s friend, D.C. musician Mike D’Angelo, took the painting of Scott to the teen’s basketball practice on Wednesday.
“They were able to feel like he was still at practice with them,” said D’Angelo. “They told me stories about Maurice that need to be shared with the world. I don’t want Maurice Scott to be just another hashtag or another kid that’s just known for being murdered.”
D’Angelo knows first-hand the pain of losing a young family member. His cousin Makiyah Wilson was 10 years old when she was shot and killed last summer. She would have turned 11 on Friday. Pinder painted her as well.
“Put the guns down,” D’Angelo said. “These kids deserve a chance to live.”
Pinder says he hopes his work brings some light to families going through the darkest times. But he’s heartbroken as this collection keeps growing.
“At this point, I feel like it’s my duty,” he said. “It’s a job that I have to do.”