Back-to-School Giveaway held in honor of Jax native killed by ex-police officer in Illinois

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There are several back-to-school supply giveaways happening around Jacksonville on Saturday. One event honored a Jacksonville native who was killed by a former police officer in Illinois.

Marcellis Stinnette grew up in Jacksonville and graduated from Terry Parker High School before moving to Illinois. Stinnette was shot and killed while he was a passenger in a car in October 2020.

The ex-officer, Dante Salinas, is criminally charged in the case and set to stand trial.

Stinnette’s sisters are distributing school supplies to kids on Saturday because they say their brother would have done the same thing.

It is the first time they are hosting an event like this. It happened at 600 King Street, near the Lackawanna and Mixtontown

At least 300 backpacks were school supplies in them will be distributed. Students were also be able to get free haircuts. There will be food, music, games and a shoe raffle.

These sisters say their brother inspired them to uplift whatever community they live in.

“He loved kids,” Zhanellis Banks said of her younger brother. “Marcellis was definitely a part of the community. He loved kids. He loved just making people smile. He was a jokester. He was really positive”

“My brother was loving, he was kind,” said Tannellis Holmes, who is Stinnette’s younger sister. “He was good to everybody. He would give the clothes off of his back to put on someone else’s back. He was a good man. He was a good person.”

“His smile,” is what Asiana Holmes said she misses the most about her older brother. “I just look at pictures as you can see on the flyer. His smile is what keeps me going. He was a very outgoing person.”

Stinnette was killed in October 2020.

According to Waukegan police, which is a city 45 minutes north of Chicago, an officer pulled over Stinnette and his girlfriend because they said the car was suspicious. Stinnette was the passenger. Williams was driving.

Investigators say Williams drove away during that stop.

The officer followed them and eventually Salinas joined the chase.

Detectives say Williams ended up running off the road and backed the car up.

Investigators say Salinas shot several times into the car, killing Stinnette and seriously injuring Williams. The state attorney says Salinas was not in the car’s path when it was backing up.

Waukegan’s police chief fired Salinas a few days later, saying it was for “multiple policy and procedure violations,” including Salinas shooting into the car before turning on his body camera.

Stinnette’s girlfriend was charged with aggravated fleeing.

Salinas is charged with second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Stinnette’s sisters say that Salinas is scheduled to go on trial in September.

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