Whether they knew him personally or just through his music, hundreds showed up at the Wylie Funeral Home Thursday to attend the public viewing for Tyriece “Lor Scoota” Watson, a West Baltimore rapper fatally shot last Saturday.
“He overcame obstacles, he made some choices he looked beyond those choices and then began to make good on his potential,” said Minister Marvin McKenstry Jr., speaking on behalf of Watson’s family.
Some only knew Scoota as a rising rap star from West Baltimore, while others at the viewing also remembered him for his community service and interaction with kids.
“He would read to them Cat in the Hat, he would talk to them about his life experiences growing up, and how they could use their talents to become better individuals and better citizens of society,” said Marques Ent, a community activist who attended the viewing.
Christina Flowers, an advocate with Baltimore City “Housing First,” remembers the first time she met Lor Scoota.
“First impressions are the best impression. I met him during the time when he was serving, giving back to the homeless,” she said.
Lor Scoota was killed after he left a charity basketball game he hosted at Morgan State University calling for peace on the streets. Police said the gunman approached Lor Scoota’s car stopped at a red light on Moravia Road and Harford Road then opened fire.
Newly released surveillance video shows a green Nissan Quest minivan that police believe the shooter was driving. They’re asking the public for any information that could help find his killer.
“Twenty-three-year-old young man, he was the heartbeat of many of our young folks in the City. They looked up to him, they saw the things he was doing and the programs he was a part of not just with his lyrical content and his artistry, but with his love for his City,” Ent said.
Ten-year-old Camren looked up to Scoota. He was deeply saddened but not shocked when he learned about his death. “
It’s good he survived in Baltimore as long as he did as a rapper,” he said.
“The reality of violence, believe it or not in this town, doesn’t fall short on a 10-year-old in these communities,” Minister McKenstry said.
He added that 25 community leaders have come together to coordinate the three days of healing, which they hope can help with the heartbreak and unify everyone in their calls for an end to the violence.
“We’re just going to stand up Baltimore, we’re going to move together and we’re going to try to heal the city through celebrations, through love, and through facing these realities head on,” McKenstry said.
Funeral services for Lor Scoota will be held Friday starting at 11 a.m. at the Empowerment Temple located at 4217 Primrose Avenue in Baltimore.
A community "heal the city" transformation repass will be held between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.