By Mark F. Gray, AFRO Staff Writer, mgray@afro.com

The potential for greatness seemed immeasurable for 15-year-old honor student and basketball phenom Maurice Scott.  By all accounts he was as gifted in the classroom as he was talented on the basketball court. However, Scott will never get the chance to pursue his dreams after he was gunned down and killed due to what appears a random act of violence that proved fatal.

Scott became the latest victim in a series of homicides during the tragic holiday weekend in the nation’s capital.  He was reportedly on his way to a neighborhood convenience store Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire hitting three other women who were reportedly his relatives that survived after being shot in the lower body.

Honors student and basketball player, Maurice Scott, 15, was killed when a gunman opened fire Sunday morning and hit the teen while he was walking to the convenience store. (Courtesy Photo)

He was among three people killed during a rash of violence over the long Memorial Day weekend in the District. Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police reported on Twitter that 20 people were struck by bullets in 13 shooting incidents during the holiday weekend.  Eight stabbings were also reported, and a 44-year-old Southeast man was found dead with a severe neck laceration on Sunday.

The shock in the community remains personal to everybody who knew Scott and especially to leaders in the community.  One of the first people to arrive on the scene was D.C. Council member Trayon White who heard the gunshots and was one of first people to witness the horrific aftermath on the 3500 block of Wheeler Avenue in Southeast. He was emotional when he spoke to WUSA-9 in Washington.

“We’ve got senior citizens scared to walk around in our community,” the Ward 8 Council member said.  “The men have got to take care of our community not tear it down.”

Somerset Prep, the DCPS charter school Scott attended, was dismissed early on Tuesday so that students, teachers, parents and staff could receive grief counseling.  The school is roughly one block away from where Scott lost his life in Congress Heights.

“You lose a friend, walking to the store for doing nothing?,” said Jimmie Jenkins the coach of the Somerset JV basketball team in his comments to WUSA-9. “That’s crazy!”. Jenkins’ 14-year-old brother was also shot last year and now remains paralyzed.

Scott was an honor student who was a rising star on their basketball team and was student leader away from the court.  His passing was a gut wrenching blow to those who knew him. His principal, Lauren Catalano, was quoted in published accounts describing him as a talented athlete and creative video production student with “the best sense of humor.”

White posted a one minute video to Facebook on Monday where Maurice’s infectious personality comes across the camera as a teacher prompts him with questions about living in the nation’s capital.

Despite no apparent witnesses the investigation by D.C. Police continues.  D.C. Police are hopeful that security cameras can help provide more clues in the case. The Washington Post reportedly viewed the tape from the cameras in the parking lot and reported the shooter stepped out of the front passenger seat of a car in the parking lot and opened fire with what police later described as a “long gun or rifle.”

Police said they are searching for a light-colored, four-door sedan in an older model last seen headed south on Wheeler Road S.E. There is a $25,000 reward for any information leading to arrests in the case.

“From all accounts, Maurice was a good kid — he was from the neighborhood,” D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said to CBS News. “Preliminarily, he was not the intended target in this brazen attack.”