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'She meant everything': Community activist identified as victim of fatal shooting

Posted at 1:21 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 14:21:10-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Police have identified the woman killed near Moody Park on Sunday.

Quanita Jackson, 20, known by friends and family as Tay, was killed during a shooting near Moody Park about 8 p.m. Sunday.

Jackson was a leader as a community activist in Milwaukee. She was part of several community organizations aimed at lowering violence in the city. She helped organize a 3-on-3 charity basketball tournament this past weekend at Moody Park. It's right near where she was killed just over a day later.

"We don't feel good," said Vaun Mayes, a local community activist. "This is not good, but what she represents and what she stood for and the amount of people she touched, we don't ever really think about these things until something drastic or bad happens."

Mayes was also an organizer for the charity basketball tournament. The two were together on a Facebook Live on Saturday afternoon in the park.

During the last few months, the persona of Moody Park has shifted dramatically. In late May, police were called to the park several times for various crimes. It forced the park to close briefly.

However, with the help of people such as Jackson, things were getting better near 22nd and Burleigh until Sunday night.

"I got a message that said, 'Tay got shot,' " Mayes said. "My first thought was, 'Which Tay?' Instantly not thinking he's talking about her. Then he said, 'Tay from Moody.' She meant everything. She was a gemstone. Everybody knew her. Everybody was touched by her. She was a positive person, and she was extremely supportive of anybody she knew."

At 20 years old, she had already done so much. Mayes, who has been an activist for roughly seven years, said Jackson is an inspiration to his mission.

"Somebody with that level of commitment, that level of support and love for her community and her peers," Mayes said. "She wanted to be there. She wanted to make sure she was there. She wanted to be in the middle of it. That was her life. It gave her life. To see that be the spot she was taken from us, it's not right."

She was killed on the sidewalk next to Moody Park. Just behind the tree line is a brand-new mural on the COA building.

"She meant everything. She was a gemstone. Everybody knew her. Everybody was touched by her. She was a positive person, and she was extremely supportive of anybody she knew." — local community activist Vaun Mayes, on community activist Quanita Jackson

It reads, "Let Peace Live!" That is a tragic sentiment knowing a small part of the peace in Milwaukee is gone.

"That mural just got done," Mayes said. "It hasn't been there all summer. It just got put up. Something goes up, something must come down, I guess. I just wish it wasn't her. We never wish it to be anybody, but it should not have been her."

Mayes said they are planning a vigil near 22nd and Burleigh at 5 p.m. Monday.