WASHINGTON — It’s been nearly seven months since 15-year-old Maurice Scott was murdered, and his killer still remains at large.
Maurice was walking to a convenience store on May 26 to pick up eggs for breakfast when gunmen sprayed the Congress Heights shopping center with bullets.
The convenience store was only two blocks away from his home.
"He said 'I did my chores. I'll be right back. I'm just going to the store. I'll be right back,'" Maurice's mother recalled.
Monique Scott said she couldn’t hear the gunshots. She was cooking and waiting for Maurice to return with the eggs.
His twin sister, Melissa, was finishing up her breakfast at the time.
A friend ran over to tell Monique and Melissa that Maurice had been shot in the head.
"I put my clothes on and ran down," Monique said. "Then, it hit me. It hit home. I knew he was gone. I already knew they were going to pronounce him dead. He was so sweet and so nice."
Even though Melissa was born just one minute before Maurice, Monique said daughter was like Maurice’s second mother.
"I felt like I lost everything to me," Melissa said.
Melissa cooked for her brother, ironed his clothes and made sure he was doing well in class.
"I be thinking I have to go to his classroom to make sure he’s doing good," Melissa said. "I believed my brother was going to make it. I got to the hospital and they said my brother didn’t. I didn’t even want to stay in the room to listen to what they had to say," Melissa said while tearing up.
Maurice was a ninth grader at D.C. charter school Somerset Prep. Following his death, the community rallied around his family to demand change and an end to gun violence. Artists even unveiled a mural memorializing Maurice on the side of the convenience store where he was shot.
So far, his killer hasn’t been captured. Of the 160 people murdered in D.C. this year, 81 of those cases are still unsolved.
Acting Captain of the D.C. Police Department Homicide Branch, Anthony Haythe, said solving Maurice’s murder is hinged on witnesses cooperating with investigators.
"We know that there were individuals in that area at the time Mr. Scott was killed," Haythe said. "We are begging and asking those individuals to come forward with any information."
Haythe admits that in a lot of cases they quickly identify potential suspects but need enough evidence to make an arrest.
Every year in the District, dozens of murders leave investigators mystified, and therefore, no one is held accountable.
"We understand that we won’t be able to close every case, but we will give a diligent effort to attempt to close them," Haythe said.
Monique and Melissa still want to know who killed Maurice. But in the meantime, they’re cherishing the memories. Monique placed Maurice’s cremation urn next to his favorite chair.
"It’s sad, he’s still here," Monique said. "Nobody’s going to bother him. Nobody’s going to touch him. He’s resting."
If you have any information to help police solve Maurice’s murder or dozens of other cases, you can call 202-727-9099. Anonymous information may also be forwarded to MPD’s TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.