The Graffiti Bridge is honored that Deanna Stevison’s family and friends used a bridge mural to honor her memory, and raise awareness of the tragic shooting of their beloved family member and friend. The mural was seen by all of Pensacola in honor of her loving memory.
Deanna Stevison was fatally shot and killed on June 8, 2017. Stevison, a correctional officer at Blackwater River Correctional Facility, went off duty at 8:00 pm, “She was in good spirits,” recalls Savanna Stevison, Deanna’s twin sister. “The night my sister was killed, she went to her ex’s house because she wanted to obtain a letter her ex mentioned earlier that week,” Savanna said. “My sister left her car running and the door open, she was unarmed and there were three against her, and the MOM shot my sister twice.”
The family is trying to raise awareness of their tragic loss because, under Florida’s current “Stand your ground,” laws, no arrest has been made, pending a preliminary investigation by the state Attorney General who will rule whether or not to charge the perpetrator.
“I don’t think the Stand your ground laws apply here,” said Deanna’s funeral officiator Sonia Mason, “There were no calls to 911 before the shooting, no knocking on neighbors doors or calls for help. Deanna was unarmed and not intoxicated. They could have used any type of force besides a firearm. I am in hopes that they are still investigating and going over the facts of the case.” Mason said.
Since law enforcement seemed to be taking a long time to investigate the case, the family and friends took matters into their own hands by starting the #JusticeForD social media. Part of this awareness drive was to paint a mural honoring Deanna's memory on the graffiti bridge.
“It was one of my friends David Maxwell's idea to paint the bridge in honor of her memory,” Savanna said. “David couldn't attend the painting himself, so my sister's dear friend and co-worker Angela McLeod took over the project, and made sure it was gonna happen.” Over 25 friends and family members showed up around 5:30 pm to paint the mural in her honor. They finished just before dark.
“Justice needs to be served. She was a great person and so loving. She will be missed so much. Rip doof! This was my oldest sons cuz.” Atalaya Arabian said in a Facebook comment in response to #Justiceford.
“The nickname “Doof,” came from an aunt who affectionately called her “De-Doof,” growing up. It stuck with her through adulthood.”
We of The Graffiti Bridge offer our sincere condolences to Deanna’s family members in this time of mourning. We are honored and humbled to be able to help spread the message and do our small part to help a grieving family find closure. RIP Deanna Stevison, you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.