Victim's father warns of gun violence 'spiral' in St. Petersburg

Maress Scott says the number of shootings and killings in St. Pete has reached an alarming level. 

"Right now, St. Pete is in a state of emergency. And right now, we need all hands on deck," he said.

It's personal for Scott, having lost his own son to gun violence in 2019.  That led him to start a non-profit with the hopes of saving other young lives before it is too late. 

"There's a lot of fear going on right now, so the more people that are murdered, the more kids are afraid it’ll happen to them.  So they're operating off that fear and they're raising those guns up quicker now," he continued.  

Scott was part of a roundtable discussion Tuesday, hoping to tackle gun violence in St. Pete.  So far this year, at least 28 lives have been snuffed out.  The group was hosted by Rep. Charlie Crist, who is also running for governor. 

"You need to go where most people don’t go and listen to what they have to say and hear it and take it and put it into production," the congressman said. 

Because if not, Scott says, things may get worse. 

"If we don’t do something right now, this city can spiral," he warned. "Next year, 26 or 28 would be nothing."