Jamese Harvey was engaged to marry Zaan Scott, a well-known community swim instructor, before he was shot and wounded on April 9 in Southeast, Washington, D.C. On May 17, Scott, 24, died from his injuries and on June 26 authorities determined the death was a homicide.
Zaan Scott and his fiancée Jamese Harvey. (Courtesy Photo)
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, Scott was shot in the back around 9:08 p.m. in the 1300 Block of Southern Avenue, SE. Police said they received reports of an aggravated assault in the area and found Scott suffering from a gunshot wound upon their arrival. Scott was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The violent incident left him paralyzed.
“I’m excited to give him some type of legal justice,” Harvey said. “I want him to rest beautifully.”
Officials said they are still searching for suspects involved in the fatal shooting. “The investigation into this case is still active,” a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department, Karimah Bilal, told the AFRO on June 27. “However preliminary information suggests the motive stemmed from a robbery.”
Loved ones of Scott describe the swim coach at William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center on Capitol Hill as humble and kind. Scott’s fiancée told the AFRO on June 28 that she had been in a relationship with Scott for more than two years, after meeting at a staff meeting at the aquatic center.
“We did everything together,” Harvey said.
Harvey, 25, hasn’t returned to her job as a lifeguard at the Wilson Aquatic Center in Northwest D.C. since Scott’s death, because, she said, her job as a rescuer is now too difficult. Scott was released from the hospital and was recovering at home when he died. Harvey said she performed CPR on Scott on May 17 for 20 minutes trying to save him before he was taken to the hospital, “ you are done saving lives,” she cried.
Harvey grew up in foster care in Southeast D.C., and although she still lives in the area she no longer feels safe and it’s a constant reminder of Scott. “I’m ready to start over,” she said. “I can’t even take a walk without crying.”
According to Harvey, on April 9, she and Scott both had the day off work. Scott went to a baseball game with some friends, and was planning to have dinner with Harvey afterwards. Scott was walking home when he was shot.
She said officers were quick to respond to the crime scene, but there was a discussion between Prince George’s County Police and D.C. Police about the jurisdiction of the shooting. The sidewalk where Scott was shot is in Southeast, D.C., but it was along the border with Prince George’s County, Harvey said.
“Officers on both sides need to be proactive,” she said. Harvey said police presence in violent areas may have increased, but it would be helpful if there were more patrol officers riding bikes or walking the streets, instead of sitting in patrol cars. “Police officers are not rescue ready,” she said.
According to Harvey, Scott grew up in and out of shelters in D.C. and was very close to his grandparents. Harvey plans to launch a foundation for sheltered young men in honor of Scott.