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Fort Myers pastor says sixteen-year-old shooting victim was baptized just hours before tragedy struck

Pastor reacts to FM homicide
Posted at 4:50 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 19:08:48-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Wednesday, the heartbreak for one Fort Myers pastor after learning sixteen-year De’mari Jackson had been killed just hours after being baptized inside his church.

Pastor Wayne Sloss said Jackson was baptized at, The Rock Church of Fort Myers, last Sunday, just hours before he was shot and killed off Franklin Street.

Pastor Sloss said despite not knowing Jackson, his desire to get baptized helps to paint a picture of what kind of life the sixteen-year-old wanted to live.

Sloss said every Sunday, church leaders ask if anyone wants to be baptized.

Pastor Sloss said this was how they were introduced to Jackson, who wrote his name down on a card–indicating he was interested.

While pastor Sloss said he was not the one who baptized Jackson, it shows him a glimpse of the man Jackson wanted to be.

"I don't know what was going on in his home life what was going on at school. I don't know what was happening at all in his life but something resonated within him and said that I got to make this change I want to do what God has called me to do and that's first and foremost to be saved,” said Sloss.

Pastor Sloss showed me the picture on the church’s Instagram page, pointing out Jackson after he was baptized.

On Wednesday, Pastor Sloss said his heart breaks for Jackson's family as he thought about the last moments Jackson spent inside this house of worship.

"It does warm your heart to know that he was baptized but it's still so sad to think that he left," said Sloss.

On Wednesday, a police report obtained by Fox 4 said that a Lee County judge denied bond for the 19-year-old second-degree murder suspect Syncere Trice.