‘I miss her so much’: Friends and family remember Anisa Scott on one-year anniversary of shooting

MADISON, Wis. – Anisa Scott’s family and friends gathered for a balloon release at exactly 11:11 A.M Wednesday afternoon, a commemoration of the 11-year-old’s life.

One year ago today, Scott was the unintentional victim of gun crime, when three teenagers allegedly shot into a vehicle she was riding in. Two days later, on August 13, she passed away.

The first thing I thought about was my daughter and how hard it would be today,” said Scott’s mother Ashley Rios. “She is so funny, a great big sister, the light of the room. Athletic.”

Rios says family still refers to Scott in the present tense as a way to keep her spirit alive.

I just hope that people remember what a brave outgoing spirit she is,” Rios said. “I just want everyone to remember her greatness, how much of a role model she is to her peers, how her little sisters look up to her.”

Shortly after Scott’s death, Madison police arrested three teenagers – Jerry Ward, Andre Brown and Perion Carreon. The teens face charges of 1st degree intentional homicide, although none of the three have been convicted.

I just want everyone to be aware of the impact this situation has left on our community and on our family in general,” Rios said. “This is something that nobody should ever have to go through. I just hope it brings some sort of awareness for people to make better decisions.”

Scott’s death was one of 11 homicides in Madison in 2020 – tying a record. For many, it was a sign gun violence in the city had gone too far. On the day of her funeral, city leaders called for change. 

You’re really kind of thinking, this (summer) is bad as it can get, how can it get any worse? Then a call like this comes in for this kind of tragedy,” said Vic Wahl, who served as Madison’s interim police chief at the time.  “It was really kind of a new low for what we were seeing in gun violence.”

Yet the calls for change eventually faded, Wahl said. Now, he’s worried many have become numb to gun crime.

We did see some community interest and some good things in the aftermath of this killing last year, but I don’t think any of those things have been sustained,” Wahl said. “We can’t get to the point where this is routine, where gun violence is routine. Where people getting shot, people getting rounds coming into their windows and vehicles is okay.”

Wahl pointed to an incident in Madison from Sunday, where a mother’s car was hit by stray bullets, blowing out her back window and narrowly missing her 5-year-old and 13-year-old children.  

A lot of us have probably seen a scene like that in a movie, where a car window gets shot out, that just happened here in Madison,” Wahl said. “People that are shooting into cars, shooting into homes, using guns to solve problems, to commit acts of violence here in our community, those are folks we have to hold accountable. I think sometimes that isn’t always what happens.”

Rios says her family will continue to fight to create change – and make sure no other family has to experience the pain she has.

We will forever push for the change to happen, today, tomorrow, forever,” Rios said. “Not just in Madison, but everywhere.”