St. Paul community gathers to remember teen killed in accidental shooting

Wearing their Henry Sibley red, hundreds gathered Saturday to say goodbye to 17-year-old Da’Qwan Jones-Morris.

Jones-Morris, a football player at Henry-Sibley High School, died of a gunshot wound earlier this month when he and his friends were playing with a gun. According to police, the teens were removing and loading the magazine and pulling the trigger on the empty gun. However, at one point, the teens say the one of the boys loaded the gun and handed it to another boy who didn't realize it was loaded and pulled the trigger. The gun fired and struck Jones-Morris.

Da’Qwan’s aunt, Cheryl Jones, said all the love he gave to others is coming back to their family when they need it most.

“He had a way to get others to see it’s not about yourself, it’s about the whole team as a whole, so instead of looking at it as ‘I,’ it’s looking at it as ‘we,’” she said. “The community has been really great. They’ve been there in support [in] so many ways.”

Da’Qwan’s coaches, who named him captain this season, said he was a clear leader.

“The kid was just so infectious with his personality, with all the joy he brings,” one of his coaches said.

The youth choir Da’Qwan was a part of sang at the service, which the reverend ended with a message about gun safety and gun violence.

“There is too many accidents that are happening in our community and our schools - and young folk, you are the light, you are the salt, you are the only ones who can do something about it,” said Reverend Al Gallmon Jr. of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. “We want to make a commitment today that it is going to be better, and accidents like this will not happen.”

Da’Qwan’s family said they’ll spread the message he believed in and help others keep that commitment.

“Da’Qwan would say love one another. Just love one another,” Cheryl Jones said.