Bernard Scott had ambitions to become a graphic designer of video games, get married, and raise a family that included at least one daughter.
As an avid Michael Jackson fan and video game player, Bernard, known as “B.J.,” became an expert at Michael Jackson: The Experience. His family teased him for becoming a fan of the King of Pop only after the star’s death, but they took him to Jackson’s This Is It movie premiere and bought the DVD on Blu-ray. B.J., 17, was also teased for his large feet–size 11.5–and his still-scanty mustache. (B.J.’s younger brother could grow a better one.) He was still a child in many ways–someone who texted his mother when he was home alone to ask her permission to go outside.
B.J. joined the JROTC as a sophomore during the fall of 2012 at Overbrook High School in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pa. He wanted to be like his older brother and cousin, who both served in the U.S. Army. He loved when his extended family visited from Ohio on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although he wasn’t athletic, he looked forward to playing dodgeball and the games Taboo and Scattergories during family cookouts. He set aside one day each week to wash his laundry and volunteered to clean the kitchen for his mother. Occasionally he worked at an office-cleaning job to save money to buy an iPhone, which he purchased last October, his mother, Darshell Scott, told msnbc.
“He was proud,” she said, “that he was able to do it himself.”
Bernard was shot and killed after being caught in the crossfire as one of many bystanders to an altercation that erupted into a gun battle at a playground across the street from his school in Philadelphia on April 11. Two other individuals were wounded.