MILWAUKEE -- A young woman who dedicated her life to making Milwaukee better was shot and killed Sunday, Aug. 25 near 23rd and Burleigh -- near Milwaukee's Moody Park. On Monday evening, FOX6 News learned a $25,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.
"You all ran up and down this block shooting! said Tyderra Hays at a vigil Monday evening. "Turn yourself in!"
FOX6 News found people stopping by a memorial for Quanita Jackson, 20, at the scene all day on Monday. Friends and family knew her best by her nickname, "Tay," and called her death a senseless tragedy.
"She was a good person," said Arianna Beauchamp, friend of Jackson. "A good person. Always positive. Always like, mediating problems."
Friends recalled Jackson's love of music, and her generosity.
"She never did nothing to nobody," said Hays. "She never harmed nobody. She never hurt nobody. Only thing she wanted to do was make sure she was OK."
Police said the shooting happened around 8 p.m. on Sunday. The Milwaukee Fire Department responded to the scene and attempted life-saving measures, but Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Loved ones remembered Jackson as someone who wanted to make Milwaukee a better, safer place.
"And look what happened to her," said Tracey Dent, community activist. "Everybody knows her. She takes a lot of pictures."
Dent said he went to the scene Sunday to comfort friends and family members. There, Dent said he received unconfirmed reports of what happened.
"A car was chasing another car, and they was shooting at each other, and stuff like that," said Dent. "She got caught in the crossfire."
Viewer video showed the chaotic, heartbreaking scene.
Adding to the tragedy was the fact that Jackson was active at the COA Youth & Family Centers right next door to where she was killed.
"Saturday, they had a basketball tournament there," said Dent. "She was there helping out and everything."
COA Youth & Family Centers issued the following statement:
"Ms. Jackson was a youth participant in COA's teen program who excelled in our arts programming at COA's Goldin Center. After graduating from the program she continued volunteering at COA and at other community organizations in the area. Just this past Friday she worked as a volunteer at the Amani Community Fun Night attendee by 700 people, and then on Saturday for a Program the Parks event. She cared so much about others and was always a kind voice of wisdom to other youth in the community. Everyone at COA is deeply saddened by this terrible and senseless tragedy and we send our condolences to her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by all of us at COA Youth & Family Centers and by so many people in the community that she helped and who saw her as a role model."
Milwaukee police were seeking the shooter(s), and investigating the circumstances leading up to this.
"We need justice for Tay," said Dent. "Put the guns down. Find another solution to the problems. Innocent people are getting hurt, getting shot, getting killed."
"We just want our justice, and we want it today," said Hays.
"I miss my friend," said Beauchamp. "I just miss my friend. I'm hurt. I'm hurt."
Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton and Alderman Khalif Rainey issued this joint statement:
"Quanita “Tay” Jackson was someone trying to make a positive difference in the community and had just organized a youth basketball tournament at Moody Park on Saturday. She was killed in a shooting yesterday across from the park and our prayers are now with her loved ones and friends.
One of her colleagues at Fresh Empire had this to say about her: “Quanita was the energy Milwaukee so desperately needs. She was friends to a few but family to most. Her desire to be greater than her circumstances was both refreshing and empowering. At 20 she fought to put her words into action and she will be missed by me and her entire Fresh Empire family.”
It is incredibly sad that we have lost someone who was working with youth and bringing positive energy where it is truly needed. Our condolences go to her family and to all of those who worked with her in giving back to the community.
Please help bring to justice the person or persons responsible for Ms. Jackson’s death. If you have information please call Milwaukee Police immediately at 414-935-7360 (you CAN remain anonymous)."
Senator Lena Taylor issued this statement:
“I had the opportunity to spend time with Ms. Jackson on Saturday for the Amani/Moody Park 3 vs 3 Tournament she helped organize and I can attest that Ms. Jackson was a bright light to everyone who knew her. Tay was a community activist and a natural leader who advocated against the exact type of violence that cut her life much too short. During this time of immense pain, we will keep Tay’s spirit alive by holding her loved ones up to God, coming together as a community and celebrating the life and achievements of this extraordinary young woman.
She had a positive vision not only for herself but for her community. She participated in a variety of community programs, including Skylight Music Theatre, Fresh Empire: Non-Smoking Campaign, COA, Program The Parks MKE and TRUE Skool. Tay was a talented rapper and vocalist who used her art to spread a message of love and light. Tay has been called home, but I know her spirit and the impact she had on our city will never be forgotten. Rest in Paradise Queen Quanita Tay Jackson!”
If you have information that could help authorities in this investigation, you are urged to call 414-935-7360.