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Since Parkland

Fatal shootings of children have been on the rise, government data show. But as the deaths mount, the toll is bigger than what numbers can capture.

Working with The Trace, Miami Herald, and McClatchy, student reporters set out to measure the void left in homes and classrooms that have lost young people to the pull of a trigger. See their names

Sister, daughter, dancer, since day one

Yaleah Hall

Age 17 · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Leah” loved to dance, as her YouTube playlists and videos posted on social media show. And she loved her brothers and sisters

Her sister Minah looked up to her and their eldest sister, Tiyaniah: “(T)hey showed me things my mom couldn’t,” she said. “They been there since day one.”

On Nov. 19, 2018, Yaleah Hall, 17, was shot and killed alongside Tiyaniah Rakele Hopkins, 20, in a basement on Malcolm Street in southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police suspected a drug deal, but Captain John Ryan said that the sisters weren’t involved: “They were innocent bystanders of something that went very awry.”

By Samantha Woolley · Age 16
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Siblings

Gone, two weeks shy of graduation

Ryan Amadeo Dela Cruz

Age 17 · Seattle, Washington

He wanted to join the U.S. Armed Forces, so his father would rouse him every morning for school with their little inside joke: “Hey Marine, wake up!”

Friends described him as a dreamer — his family moved to America from the Philippines to give their children a better life. He dreamed of serving his country, succeeding in school and making his family proud. He excelled at math. In his downtime, he loved playing video games.

Ryan Amadeo Dela Cruz, 17, was a senior at Franklin High School in Seattle. He was fatally shot on June 2, 2018, two weeks shy of his high school graduation.

By Sarah Emily Baum · Age 18
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Siblings

One brother buried. Then another one.

Rashaad Izil Wisher

Age 18 · Wilmington, Delaware

He was known affectionately as “Pop-Pop.” He was respectful, obedient and kept to himself. But refusing to participate in gang activity could not protect him from the violence in his community.

Death was no stranger to him growing up: Three cousins were killed over things as simple as teasing over a bicycle. His beloved half-brother had died less than two months ago.

Rashaad Izil Wisher, 18, was shot the evening of July 8, 2018, in Wilmington, Delaware, a city that has had the highest rate of teen gun violence in the nation. Rashaad died from his wounds later that night at Christiana Hospital.

By Ethan Hale · Age 17
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Siblings

Wanted to buy her a scooter

Jaquincy Jawan Ross

Age 18 · Baton Rouge, Louisiana

After his stepfather died last year in their apartment complex’s parking lot, the young man was determined to protect his little brother and help his girlfriend raise her young daughter, even though he wasn’t the biological dad.

With the little girl about to turn 3, he spent a week looking for money to buy a scooter, her birthday wish, while struggling to find a job. He managed to raise the money for it. But he never got the chance to purchase it.

Jaquincy Jawan Ross, 18, was shot on September 23, 2018, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, just yards away from where his stepfather was shot.

By Angele Yang · Age 16
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Siblings

He dreamed of college and cars

Kameron Johnson

Age 18 · Ogden, Utah

Friends called him “a kind and gentle young heart.” His brother called him Lil Bird.

He had college aspirations and loved playing football. He dreamed of turning his passion for sports into a career as an athletic trainer when he graduated from Ben Lomond High School. He wanted to buy a Ford Mustang.

Kameron Johnson, 18, of Ogden, Utah, was home sick from school when he and his older brother were shot in their home on West Lake Street. While his brother remains in critical condition, Kameron died from his injuries on Feb. 11, 2019.

By Sarah Emily Baum · Age 18
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Siblings

A light, “unrelenting joy” extinguished

Lia Lin Collier

Age 15 · Columbia, Tennessee

She was an artist who loved to bake, craft, sew. A generous, selfless girl who cared for others and enjoyed giving gifts. She was one of four adopted children in the family and was homeschooled with three of her six siblings.

She “was unrelenting joy and exuberance,” reads an online testimonial by her family. “A loving and tender young woman who was always concerned about others’ well-being. A sweet hearted social butterfly who enjoyed good jokes and teasing.”

Lia Lin Collier, 15, and her three siblings were fatally shot by their mother in a murder-suicide on Oct. 15, 2018, at their home in Columbia, Tennessee.

By Suan Lee · Age 16
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Artists

Still helping others, even in death

Peyton Nicole Hurt

Age 15 · Ledbetter, Kentucky

She spent her days painting watercolors. She would often sing – in the shower, in the car, for her family. She loved her siblings, her nephews, the people that surrounded her. She was always there for them:  She hugged when they cried, she talked when they couldn’t, she smiled when until they would laugh. She loved helping others.

Peyton Nicole Hurt, 15, was shot at a house party by her ex-boyfriend in Ledbetter, Kentucky on June 9, 2018. She was kept on life support long enough to donate her organs.

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Artists

A beautician who cried for help

Lashonda Sharreice Childs

Age 17 · Dayton, Ohio

She was an esthetician who’d just started a beauty business.

But an ugly relationship wouldn’t let go. Between 2011 and October 2018, her ex-boyfriend was arrested 15 times. He bit her and held her at gunpoint. He was arrested and ordered to receive counseling. He allegedly stole her phone and set her hair on fire; she got a protective order. On social media, she cried out: “Domestic violence is real.”

Lashonda Sharreice Childs, 17, was with a new boyfriend on Oct. 2, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio, when she was shot by her ex-boyfriend. She was taken to Grandview Medical Center, where she died the next day.

By Gracie Weinstein · Age 17
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Artists

Loved her Polaroid camera, sunsets, and sunflowers

Jamie Marie Kernop

Age 17 · Sumiton, Alabama

A girl of many looks, she captured her fashion with a Polaroid camera, the prints depicting a smile that could illuminate an entire room.

A talented gymnast and a carefree spirit, she was full of love: for her family, for her friends, for sunsets and sunflowers. “She’s (our) sunshine, still shining,” a relative commented on an online obituary.

On Oct. 16, 2018, Jamie Marie Kernop, 17, was shot and killed in a home burglary in Sumiton, Alabama. Her boyfriend and his friend escaped through the window. In the hours following her death, the Sumiton Police Department described her as "another victim of senseless violence."

By Nicole Levi · Age 17
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Artists

Fourth-grader with an artistic, gentle spirit

Andy Kim

Age 10 · Silver Spring, Maryland

He was a gentle, creative, 10-year-old artist who went to Westover Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He had just started fourth grade.

A candlelight vigil was held in honor of him and his sister. Artwork by the both of them lay next to their portraits: a jigsaw puzzle of fall colors, sailboats floating in an incredible ocean of blue, an elephant in the middle of a patchwork of pink and orange and green.

Andy Kim was shot and killed in his home on Sept. 17, 2018, by his father, who also killed his mother and siblings.

By Willow Taylor Chiang Yang · Age 16
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Artists

Brother shoots his sister by accident

Izabella Marie Helem

Age 4 · Lebanon, Indiana

Her mother had been a police officer who probably did not want the horrors of the job to follow her home. 

She and her brother could often be seen playing in the yard of their grandparents’ home. “Izzy was full of energy, you could not be in a bad mood around her,” her mother said.

Four-year-old Izabella Marie Helem was accidentally shot by her 3-year-old brother as he played with a gun in their grandparents’ home in Lebanon, Indiana, on Nov. 29, 2018. The child found the gun, which belonged to a family friend who staying at house, underneath the couch. Izabella died on Dec. 1, 2018.

By Scarlett Liriano Cepin · Age 19
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Infants and toddlers

By his mother’s side until death

Damion Little Jr.

Age 3 · Prichard, Alabama

He almost always could be found right by his mother’s side. “She loved her baby with everything in her,” a Facebook comment read. “Wherever we go, he’s going too,” a person who knows the family wrote.  

“He was totally innocent,” said Assistant District Attorney Keith Blackwood.

Around 10 p.m. on Jan. 26, 2019, Prichard Police arrived at Minnie B. Turnbo Drive in Prichard, Alabama, after reports of a shooting. Damion Little Jr., 3, and his mother were struck by bullets, allegedly fired by his father. Little’s mother survived, but he died shortly after at a local hospital.

By Elizabeth Meisenzahl · Age 17
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Infants and toddlers

He was well beyond his years

Ke'Anthony Terez Jelks Jr.

Age 2 · Birmingham, Alabama

Dressed in a black-and-white checkered button up Ralph Lauren long-sleeve shirt, his dapper outfit said everything you needed to know about the toddler.

His great-grandmother described him as an old man in a 2-year-old body. “He was so playful, so joyful, [so] fun,” she said.

On Wednesday morning, Nov. 14, 2018,  Ke’Anthony Terez Jelks Jr.’s father had just got home from working the night shift, when the little boy found his gun. He mistook it for a toy and shot himself in the face in his home in Birmingham, Alabama.

By Hope Kahn · Age 17
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Infants and toddlers

Empty seat in his mother’s car

David Jermaine Hall

Age 2 · Montgomery, Alabama

His mother called the young boy at the center of her life “Prince David.” Their pastor called him her “angel in disguise.”

Dressed in a miniature bowtie and suspenders, he clung to his mom everywhere she went. “You see me out shopping, you see DJ. You see me getting my hair done, you see DJ,” said his mother, Lexus Sky. “I realized that God kept you close so I could cherish every moment.”

On Oct. 29, 2018, police officers found David Jermaine Hall, 2, dead at 3750 South Court Street in Montgomery, Alabama, from a fatal gunshot wound.

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Infants and toddlers

Ears ringing. Loud noise. Third accident.

Unknown

Age 1 · Mobile, Alabama

He was at home with his 2-year-old brother, his mother and his grandmother.

His mother went outside to tell his grandmother she was leaving. The 2-year-old brother also ran out, complaining that his “ears were ringing.” Neighbors heard a “loud noise.”

An unidentified 1-year-old boy was fatally shot in the 8000 block of Domain Street in Mobile, Alabama, on March 12, 2018. Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste told reporters the gun was stored in the mother’s bedroom, and that the shooting was  believed to be accidental. It was Mobile’s third accidental shooting death in an eight-month period.

By Joe Meyerson · Age 17
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Infants and toddlers

His jokes could make anyone laugh

Eric Xavier Degori

Age 15 · Tulsa, Oklahoma

He was pale, with freckles and blonde hair. A high school sophomore, he was known for his sense of humor.

“His jokes could make anyone laugh,” a friend wrote in an online obituary. “He just made school so much better for so many.”

On Jan. 5, 2019, Eric Xavier Degori, 15,  was accidentally shot and killed by a friend with a rifle in an apartment in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “God,” his mother posted afterwards, “right no(w) I hate you because I don’t understand how you could take a 15-year-old boy who is loved by all … I should have been there to protect him.”

By Ava Uditsky · Age 16
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Jokesters

The rising senior was always smiling

Will Earl Davis Jr.

Age 17 · Milwaukee, Wisconsin

It was the beginning of August and school was about to begin. He was 17 years old, a rising senior at Brookfield East High School. His friends described him as a person who was always smiling. In nine months, his class would walk the stage.

But he wouldn’t.

William Earl Davis Jr. was shot at approximately 10:55 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2018, while observing a confrontation at Swing Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He died later at a local hospital. Afterward, residents talked about how to make the park safer: more lighting and cameras, and more police.

By Jessica Ngoc Lien · Age 16
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Jokesters

Overnight tragedy for a basketball fan

Deandre Moon

Age 18 · Jackson, Mississippi

His Facebook profile was full of photos of himself with his friends – sitting on porch steps, standing outside cars, visiting with family. One winter afternoon, he shared a video featuring one of his favorite sports: basketball.

Days later, on another website, a photo of him was featured. He was standing in front of a door decorated in garland and Christmas wreaths, the holiday season rapidly approaching. Nearly 100 virtual candles had been “lit” in his honor. He was described by those who knew him as both funny and respectful.

Deandre Moon, 18, died from gunshot wounds on Dec. 15, 2018, in Jackson, Mississippi.

By Allison Rapp · Age 19
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Jokesters

‘Solid’ friend barely gets to adulthood

Terale Claridy-Vaught

Age 18 · Charlotte, North Carolina

As a boy, he liked football and made his classmates “laugh everyday,” but his time as an adult was short-lived.

Once, his friend ran out of gas and money, desperate to get home. The boy nicknamed “Rale” literally gave her the shirt off his back and tried to sell it at Plato’s Closet, a used clothing store, so she’d have gas money.

Late on June 3, 2018, after shots were fired into a Charlotte, N.C., home, Terale A. Claridy-Vaught, 18, was found dead on the street.

By Bryn Healy · Age 17
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Jokesters

Died while fixing a flat tire

Amauri Green

Age 16 · Detroit, Michigan

He was a happy and occasionally silly teenager who liked to crack jokes.

He and a buddy were driving on West Seven Mile Road after leaving a nearby T-shirt embroidery shop. They suddenly had to stop their car. His last words to his father on the phone were, “Give me a second, I got a flat tire.” Seconds later, he and his friend were shot by two men. They were both rushed to the hospital. His buddy survived. He didn’t make it.

Amauri Green, 16, was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting on August 24, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan.

By Lindsey Britton · Age 19
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Jokesters

Hardworking father, planning for the future

Luis Flores-Bravo

Age 16 · Wilson, North Carolina

It was summertime. He had gotten off work at his new job at 4 p.m., then he ate dinner with his family and caught up with his mother on their porch.

At 16, he was looking forward; he wanted to provide for his 1-year-old daughter, Melody, and had plans to join the military.

At 9:30 p.m. on July 20, 2018, police responded to a report of a robbery at a Speedway convenience store on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Wilson, North Carolina. They found Luis Flores-Bravo suffering from a gunshot wound. He died at the scene.

By Zsofia Adamkovics-Larson · Age 17
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Young parents

Death of child leaves baby fatherless

Dex Moore

Age 15 · West Memphis, Arkansas

He would have graduated in 2020. He had just had a baby, according to a family member.

His mother was at a loss for words. His cousin Eddie Moore looked at the bullet holes in the walls and shook his head, bewildered by how quickly his life was taken. “He wasn't supposed to be on this end," Moore said, referring to the court he lived on.

On Feb. 6, 2019, police found Dex Moore, 15, dead from gunshot wounds on the floor of an apartment in West Memphis, Arkansas. He is the second person shot and killed in the apartment complex in the past year. A 14-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder in Dex’s death.

By Sequoia Wyckoff · Age 15
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Young parents

He left behind a newborn son

Joshua Wright

Age 18 · Markham, Illinois

His girlfriend in the passenger seat, his infant son in the back. A recent high-school graduate, it was his first day of work loading trucks in Chicago.

He was “shy,” “mild-mannered” and he “doted” on his longtime girlfriend. “They were together literally all the time. You wouldn’t see one without the other,” according to his uncle, Sean Howard, a spokesman for multiple Illinois police departments.

Joshua Wright, 18, and his girlfriend, also 18, were shot and killed in a drive-by shooting on Feb. 5, 2019, in Markham, Illinois. “That the baby didn’t get hit is a miracle,” Howard said.

By Judy Zhang · Age 16
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Young parents

He wanted to protect our borders

Ricardo Del Moro

Age 18 · El Paso, Texas

He dreamed of being a border patrol agent. Growing up in El Paso, Texas, he was surrounded by military bases like Fort Bliss and was aware of the high security stakes at the border.

He was in the process of turning his life around, working toward that goal. He wanted to be a role model for his baby son.

Ricardo Del Moro, 18, would not have the opportunity to fulfill that dream. On Sept. 14, 2018, Del Moro, along with his brother and girlfriend, was shot and killed outside an apartment building.

By Melat Eskender · Age 17
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Young parents

Nursing degree unfinished, child never born

Nai’Asalyn Lasha Brown

Age 18 · Franklin, Louisiana

She was months away from being a mom.

At nearly 19 years old, she had moved out of her mom’s house and was working toward her lifelong dream of moving to Texas. At the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, she was taking classes to complete her nursing degree. “She was your average teen,” a family member remembered. “She liked to dress up, to do hair and makeup.”

Around 10:14 a.m. on July 17, 2018, a shot rang out from her boyfriend’s gun in a home in Glencoe, Louisiana, killing Nai’Asalyn Lasha Brown, 18, and her unborn child.

By Elizabeth Meisenzahl · Age 17
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Young parents

Dreaming big, working on his portfolio

Elisha Amon Cole

Age 17 · Waldorf, Maryland

At 17, he was living his best life. He enjoyed football, basketball, track and dirt biking. He excelled academically and had a loving family with eight siblings and his beloved dog, Bella.   

He was dreaming big, working on his senior portfolio and considering careers in cybersecurity or the military. He hoped to marry his high school sweetheart, Maddy.

At 8 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2018, Elisha Amon Cole was shot and killed in the crossfire between two gangs in Waldorf, Maryland. A fellow student called him “a good dude (in) the wrong place at the wrong time.”

By Zsofia Adamkovics-Larson · Age 17
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Athletes

Basketball point guard, would-be rapper

Taveon Donte' Brooks

Age 15 · Kansas City, Kansas

Days before it happened, and just before his mother’s birthday, he dyed his hair red to match hers.

He aspired to be a rapper, and he played point guard for F.L. Schlagle High School in Kansas City, Kansas. A middle school poem combined what he loved: “(b)ig white building/beautiful small trees .… I walked up stairs … /holding the big bright round ball …”

Taveon Donte' Brooks, 15, was with with four other teens in a car at 2:45 a.m. in northwest Kansas City, when someone shot at them. Taveon was killed; the other teens survived.

By Brianna Rodriguez · Age 17
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Athletes

Supposed to go to homecoming, prom

Natwan Kian Holyfield

Age 17 · Chicago, Illinois

Friends had expected to see him at school the next day.

The missed boy, known as “Twan Glizzy” or “Twizzy,” was a big sports fan. “He was one of the good ones,” who cared about his friends and family. The True Religion Brand Jeans employee was passionate about basketball and baseball during his time at Bowen High School. His friends planned to hear his jokes and “love [him] forever.”

At 9:25 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2018, Natwan Kian Holyfield, 17, was shot and killed on East 74th Street in Chicago, Illinois. His friends held a candle lighting in his honor two days later.

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Athletes

She always helped those who struggled

Sharon Castro

Age 15 · McLean, Virginia

She made a point of changing the style of her long hair frequently. At a figure skating competition, the front was clipped back. When she was dressed up, it laid straight. When she was cheerleading, it was braided or in a high ponytail.

She loved cheerleading for the freshman team at Oakton High School. She was known for her willingness to help those struggling and for song requests she made to the DJ while skating.

Sharon Castro, 15, was shot in McLean, Virginia, on Aug. 5, 2018, allegedly by her mother. She died six days later.

By Madison Hahamy · Age 18
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Athletes

He loved learning and exploring the world

Avi Liam Franco

Age 5 · Henderson, Nevada

He had long eyelashes that got everyone’s attention. He was shy, but fun-loving.

He had a cute giggle, and he loved going on camping and hunting trips. He was constantly engaging with the world around him, and he was always eager to learn. His life had just begun, and he had so much more to experience.

Avi Liam Franco, 5, died from gunshot wounds on Sept. 20, 2018 after he was murdered in his home in Henderson, Nevada, by his father.

By Sokhna Fall · Age 17
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Athletes

Respectful, shy teen did grandma’s chores

Favian Isiah Carrillo Duran

Age 16 · Atwater, California

From an early age, he was a caring person. He would always help his grandmother with her chores when he came to visit.

As he got older, he became known as a shy, obedient teen. He never talked back to his elders.

Favian Isiah Carrillo Duran, 16, was shot on July 27, 2018, in Atwater, California, while visiting his cousin. He was flown to a trauma center and died there. His family was still in grief over a cousin, Ezekiel Juan Duran, who was killed in October 2017. “We haven’t even healed from the other one at all,” his uncle said.

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College-bound seniors

He wanted to be a teacher

James Garrett

Age 18 · Chicago, Illinois

He was a senior with a 3.9 grade point average, first in class to get into college. By early October, he had acceptances from Talladega College and Tennessee State University.

He was a people person, pursuing teaching, “a field in which there is a shortage of black men.” Then his mentor at Butler College Prep got “the call” he dreaded. “It hurts like hell,” he said.

James Garrett, 18, was shot in the back on Oct. 6, 2018, at a vigil for a friend in Chicago, Illinois. Two days later, 675 people mourned him at the memorial Butler held in his honor.

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College-bound seniors

Aspiring doctor hoped to fight cancer

Katlyn Michelle Wittcop

Age 17 · Hickory, North Carolina

Her dreams began early: In the second grade, she decided that she wanted to attend the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. When she grew up, she wrote in a letter, she wanted to become a doctor and help children with cancer. She loved watching “Grey’s Anatomy.”

She was a rising senior at St. Stephens High School. Her favorite football team? The Denver Broncos. Her favorite color? Yellow.

Katlyn Michelle Wittcop, 17, died from a gunshot on July 18, 2018 in Hickory, North Carolina. The person who shot her thought the gun was unloaded.

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College-bound seniors

Upward bound, she never stopped striving

Britney Malone

Age 13 · Compton, California

She had a dream: “She said she wanted to be a firefighter, but I know she really just wanted to save the world. She had so much promise,” said her cousin, Shayla Greene.

A freshman at Compton High School, she had just been accepted into Upward Bound, which meant she could take college-level classes. Even though her parents didn’t have the $300 to buy her a cheerleading uniform, she didn’t stop striving.

Britney Malone and her stepfather were shot and killed in their home by her stepbrother on Sept. 28, 2018, in Compton, California. She was 13 years old.

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College-bound seniors

The future was all planned out

Chris Thomas Mosley

Age 16 · Northlake, Texas

He had soft light brown hair and a sweet smile. He was his sister’s rock.

His friends described him as smart and goofy, someone who always reminded them to do their best in life. He loved playing football. He already had a plan for his future.

He was 16-year-old Christopher Thomas Mosley. On Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, he was spending time with two of his friends at a house in Northlake, Texas. He was accidentally shot and killed. In one day, a friend was able to raise $10,000 online to cover the funeral costs.

By Aleef Noor · Age 17
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College-bound seniors

Sixteenth birthday. Golden birthday. Last birthday.

Kaiden Vague

Age 16 · Santa Barbara, California

“[He] lived his life to the fullest,” said Gwen Stephens, his behavioral therapist.

A sophomore at Dos Pueblos High School, he worked with his family’s nonprofit Softin Inc., offering seafaring opportunities for people in need. Full of humor, adventure and kind-heartedness, he saw his autism as a chance to raise awareness for the disabled community.

But on Feb. 15, he suffered an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Glass Factory shooting range in Santa Barbara, California. Kaiden Vague died the next day, Feb. 16, 2018. It was his 16th birthday.

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Adventurers

Thankful for what his parents gave

Miguel Angel Luciano

Age 15 · Birmingham, Alabama

He shared the same name as a Puerto Rican artist who explores the themes of history, pop culture, social justice and migration through his art installations.

He lived in northeast Birmingham, Alabama, a multicultural, low-income area. He attended school in the Birmingham City district. For a Thanksgiving project in fifth grade, he wrote that he was thankful that his parents were giving him a cell phone and letting him take a vacation in Mexico

Miguel Angel Luciano, 15, accidentally shot himself in the head on May 21, 2018. He died at 9:55 a.m. six days later.

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Adventurers

His life was still in construction

Brandon Blair Wareham

Age 18 · Youngstown, Ohio

Brown hair, hazel eyes. He was a baseball player, a teammate and a friend. They called him “B.”

He studied engineering, graduated from Austintown Fitch High School in 2017, and had a passion for building and being outdoors. He loved animals, too.

On March 3, 2018, he was in his car when his drug deal was interrupted. A man approached with a gun and the intention to rob. Brandon Blair Wareham, 18, was shot in Youngstown, Ohio, and died at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital that same day.

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Adventurers

His shirts and life cropped short

Teunté Lewis Rice

Age 18 · Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tae could rock a crop top like no other. There was never a dull moment when he was around.

Openly gay and proud, he was a free spirit who kept shining, even in the face of homophobia. He had supportive friends who accepted him just as he was.

On the night of Sept. 28, 2018, Teunté Lewis Rice, 18, was out with friends when he was shot and killed on Windsor Street in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The suspected killer was another teenager who was shot to death the very next day; he died holding the gun used to kill Rice.

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Adventurers

He planned to ride the rodeo

Colton J. Jensen

Age 18 · Burwell, Nebraska

He was a bull rider, registered at Chadron State College and planning to join the competitive rodeo team in fall 2018. A Facebook post shows him in a white hat and black leather chaps, sitting on the chute as if he’s ready to ride.

His 19th birthday was two months away. Football, fishing, basketball and hunting consumed him. He was an outdoorsman at heart.        

Colton J. Jensen, 18, died of a gunshot wound on May 23, 2018, in Kearney, Nebraska. Loup County Attorney Jason White said three people had witnessed the shooting and that it was accidental.

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Adventurers

Can no longer create his music

Raydale Hill

Age 17 · Oakland, California

Deep, steady beats pulse in the background as he enthusiastically raps and dances to his latest hit, “Heavy Night,” which has more than 21,000 views on YouTube.

His 4,235 followers on Instagram knew him as “Fat Daddy” and “Heavy Baby.” He spent a lot of time creating music videos with his friends. Outside the music realm, he was a brother and a father of three children.

Raydale Hill, 17, was shot outside a convenience store on West Grand Avenue in Oakland, California, on Sept. 13, 2018, at 12:17 a.m. He died at a hospital the same day.

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Musicians

Dope Boy Gang. One less member.

Elijah Foster

Age 18 · Omaha, Nebraska

Dope Boy Gang: That was the name of his rap group. It was a start for the aspiring hip-hop artist. A photograph showed him in a recording studio with a microphone close to his lips.

 

He was a loving uncle to his young nephew and a “natural leader.” His twin sister remembers his troubled upbringing: “He did the best that he could.”

Elijah Foster, 18, was fatally shot on Feb 5, 2019, in Omaha, Nebraska. Bullets from the scene shattered windows and hit the side of a woman’s home. Foster was found dead at the corner of 47th and Redman Avenue.

By Allie Kelly · Age 18
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He was a modern Renaissance man

Vicente Valero III

Age 17 · Christine, Texas

He was a Texas boy. You could see it in his red starred-and-striped American Eagle shirt. You could see when he showed his hogs in stock shows.

His skills varied from taekwondo to agriculture, music and robotics — the makings of a modern Renaissance man. Supporting him was his big family, who had recently lost the family patriarch, the namesake of both him and his father. A name passed down with love.

On April 30, 2018, in Christine, Texas, Vincent Valero III, 17, was accidentally shot by his father who didn’t know the 45-caliber handgun was loaded as he worked on it at the kitchen table.

By Alexandria Frank · Age 19
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YouTuber was destined for great things

Ricky Ryon Willis III

Age 10 · Tampa, Florida

A smooth voice. Deep brown eyes. His smile, unique with gap teeth, shined wide.

He started off his YouTube videos with a bombastic, “What’s up Willis Fam!” In his channel’s bio, he promised that he would “entertain and make people happy when they're sad.” In one video, he said, “I’m basically gonna be going a lot of places.”

His mother’s boyfriend, however, had other plans.

Deputies say he shot and killed Ricky Ryon Willis, 10, and his mother in Tampa, Florida, on Oct. 21, 2018, during an argument over changing the television channel. Ryon’s “America’s Got Talent” audition was scheduled for December.

By Sarah Bentley · Age 16
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Musicians

Left hometown for fame in Atlanta

James Claggion IV

Age 18 · Newport News, Virginia

His family had always called him determined, and following his dreams was no exception. He’d moved to Atlanta to pursue a burgeoning hip-hop career, leaving his hometown behind. "We have something that some people don't have,” his mother later said. “His voice...his music.”

He was back in Newport News, Virginia, and visiting his grandmother’s house when his aunt stopped by. She could tell something was wrong – furniture lay overturned, the house was filled with the eerie noise of the TV’s volume turned high.

On March 16, 2018, she found her nephew, 18-year-old James Claggion, IV, in the house, dead from a gunshot wound.

By Katherine Oung · Age 15 and Rebecca Brady · Age 18
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Musicians

Funny faces and pigtails no longer

Saniyah Monee Nicholson

Age 9 · Cleveland, Ohio

She probably thought she was safe. Her mother, who left her in the car to pick up her brother, probably thought so too.

Now, she won’t get to pose for pictures wearing her pigtails, making funny faces, blowing kisses or flashing the peace sign. This excellent student won’t get to play with classmates anymore. Her family described her as “beautiful, smart and caring.” Her father says he’ll miss her saying, “I love you.”

Saniyah Monee Nicholson was killed during a drive-by shooting on June 20, 2018, in Cleveland, Ohio. She was 9 years old.

By Ryann Zarrieff · Age 19
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Friends

He was beloved at his school

Tyrese A. Jones

Age 13 · McComb, Mississippi

He was an avid conversationalist, never refusing a chat with anyone. Those who had the pleasure of knowing him were aware of his potential.

Teachers loved him. “I knew from the first day of school you would have an impact on my life,” said Kendra Phipps, an employee at Morgantown Middle School, which he attended. Even the school nurse there expressed fond memories of him.

On Feb. 23, 2018, Tyrese A. Jones, 13, picked up a gun in his McComb, Mississippi,  home. An accidental gunshot ended his life.  

By Scarlett Liriano Cepin · Age 19
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Friends

Shot while walking down the street

Unknown

Age 18 · Detroit, Michigan

He lived in the second-most violent big city in America.

Statistically, 1 out of 49 people in Detroit will become a victim of a violent crime. African-American males have a higher chance of dying in the streets of the Motor City than any other race or gender group.

On Nov. 13, 2018, two teenage males were walking on East Outer Drive when shots were fired by a suspect walking past them. One of the victims, age 18, whose name was not released by the police, died at the scene.

By Mary Claire Molloy · Age 18
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Friends

A survivor, full of heart. Gone.

Jacob Matthew Edwards

Age 6 · Wilmington, Delaware

He had an innocent smile that illuminated his rosy cheeks. His blond hair cascaded playfully over his forehead.

He persevered through multiple open heart surgeries, yet still “was a hugger and always looking to dance.” He loved to play with his neighbors, and he did so on that warm, sunny, July day. His toys are still in the front yard, right next to the kiddie pool with a slide.  

Jacob Matthew Edwards, 6, was shot and killed on July 9, 2018, in his home in Wilmington, Delaware. His father also killed his brother, sister and mother, then himself.

By Cole Reynolds · Age 14
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Friends

He had just started barber school

Corey Donald II

Age 17 · Jacksonville, Florida

He had just started barber school and was already cutting hair on the side to make extra money.

        

He never got the chance to graduate. Corey Donald II, 17, was shot repeatedly and killed Dec. 5, 2018, in a car in the Edgewood Manor neighborhood in northwest Jacksonville, Florida. The weekend after his death, family and friends flooded the pews of his local church, saying goodbye to him and his big dreams.

By Kaitlin Musante · Age 17
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Friends

A bullet blocked his community activism

DaVonte Friedman

Age 18 · Baltimore, Maryland

Last summer, he stood in front of members of the Baltimore City Council and explained his research on teens who lacked opportunities while at a leadership program. Though he was nervous, his brother recalled, once he began to speak, the words poured out.

When family asked what he wanted for his recent 18th birthday, he said that he didn’t want to have a big celebration. Growing up in a troubled neighborhood, he told his mother that “I’m glad I made it to see 18.

On Dec. 1, 2018, less than a week after his birthday, DaVonte Friedman was shot and killed in Baltimore, Maryland,

By Madison Hahamy · Age 18
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Community volunteers

Youth deacon never will preach again

Yudjy Farly Cherubin

Age 17 · La Vergne, Tennessee

He had a work ethic beyond his years. The son of a Haitian immigrant, he worked at Taco Bell after school to help his mother. “It’s all about us,” his mother, Dieldrine Cherubin, told WMSV. He also served Nashville First Seventh-Day Adventist Church as a youth deacon.

Most of all, friends and family remember the light he brought. “He was just so nice — all the time,” said Dincy Cherubin of his older brother.

On April 30, 2018, Yudjy Farly Cherubin, 17, died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being shot in La Vergne, Tennessee. He was reportedly trying to buy an iPhone someone had posted for sale online.

By Elizabeth Meisenzahl · Age 17
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Community volunteers

Teen’s death left teachers, classmates heartbroken

Caleb Logan Butts

Age 15 · Saint George, Georgia

From the photos she posted on Facebook, it looked like he had a great relationship with his mom.

She participated in events with him to raise awareness for children with special needs, like him. He was born with Down syndrome and grew up in a rural and peaceful community.

On Oct. 30, 2018, Caleb Logan Butts of Saint George, Georgia, 15, was found by his father with multiple gunshot wounds from a semiautomatic handgun. He and his grandmother died at the hands of his mother in a murder-suicide. His teachers and classmates at Baker County High School were heartbroken.

By Melat Eskender · Age 17
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Teen dreamed of becoming a veterinarian

Karlonzo A. Taylor

Age 17 · Hartford, Connecticut

He volunteered at church and planted vegetables at the local community garden. A sharer, giver and helper, he was close to his community.

As an animal lover, he wanted to be a veterinarian when he graduated from CREC’s Impact Academy, a school where he was one of eight students selected to attend. A witty, charming and kind friend, he was a peaceful soul whose friends said that he kept them out of trouble.

Karlonzo A. Taylor, 17, of Hartford, Connecticut, was shot and killed in his apartment building on Dec. 5, 2018. His friend was wounded in the shooting.

By Isabel Thompson · Age 18
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Joyful boy loved to smile, laugh

Dorian Damiquez Harris

Age 17 · Memphis, Tennessee

He was a joyful boy who loved to smile and laugh.

He liked to help the community, raking leaves and doing odd jobs for neighbors; the neighborhood liked him too. His grandmother recalls him enjoying himself as he helped move boxes at Top Stop Shop, the local corner store.

On March 29, 2018, in Memphis, Tennessee, a clerk at Top Stop shot Dorian Damiquez Harris, 17, for stealing an $0.89 wine cooler.

By Sophia McDermott-Hughes · Age 18
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About to start his senior year

Lorenzo Moore-Vaughn

Age 17 · Black Jack, Missouri

He was a basketball player about to start his senior year of high school. He had enrolled in summer school so he could graduate early.

He was thinking about his future, planning to pursue entrepreneurship or forensic science. He had strong family bonds; he was close to his cousin Alfonzo. His sister Jomila was planning on surprising him in December with a car as a graduation gift. On July 28, 2018, he was sitting in the front seat of a car while a friend in the backseat played with a gun.

It went off. Lorenzo Moore-Vaughn, 17, was fatally shot in Black Jack, Missouri.

By Rachel Perry · Age 17
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Diligent students

Celebrating one night, gone the next

Shondricka J'Nay Adams

Age 18 · Macon, Georgia

Her hair was freshly braided. Her birthday celebrations were continuing for another night. She was supposed to welcome her new niece or nephew into the world the next day.

The Central Georgia Technical College student was both book smart and street smart. She knew not to be on the streets at night. "She don't deal with the streets. Just goes to school, comes in here and goes to sleep," her mother said.

At 5 a.m. on May 10, 2018, Shondricka J'Nay Adams, 18, was fatally shot at the Davis Homes housing complex in Macon, Georgia. She should have been on her way to the hospital for the birth of her niece, born five hours after Shondricka’s death.

By Emma Presnell · Age 16 and Ellie Klibaner-Schiff · Age 15
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His older brother found him first

Jayden Fondeur

Age 17 · Jersey City, New Jersey

He had college aspirations and was a good student at Ferris High School. He had a beautiful smile and loved playing on the basketball and baseball teams. His nickname, according to his Facebook page, was “JayZero.”

He was the middle child of three kids. His older brother, Angel, was the one who found him. Angel heard a loud noise and ran to him.

Jayden Fondeur, 17, of Jersey City, New Jersey, was found lying on the ground unresponsive with a gunshot wound. He was killed on Sept. 18, 2018. It was the second of three fatal shootings in the area that month.

By Sarah Emily Baum · Age 18
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He wished for the American Dream

Telvin Goll

Age 18 · Phoenix, Arizona

He moved from West Africa to the United States when he was 3, the American dream in his future.

He wanted to be a doctor and also wanted to be a YouTuber. The 18-year-old posted videos of himself in the car with a friend, dancing in a bathroom to music and vlogging.

On Dec. 29, 2018, in Phoenix, Arizona, five men attempted to rob Telvin Goll. Three of the five men forced open his apartment door and started shooting at him. Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Tommy Thompson said police believe drugs were involved. Goll died at the scene.

By Disha Chatterjee · Age 14
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Diligent students

On her T-shirt, a peace sign

Amariah C. Emery

Age 10 · New Castle, Pennsylvania

She had pink-painted nails and wore a yellow T-shirt in a photo holding up the “peace” sign.

She was described as an exceptional student. After school, the fifth-grader would attend the C.A.N.E.S club at George Washington Intermediate and help her friends with their homework.

On Tuesday morning, Oct. 16, 2018, police were called to a two-story yellow home in New Castle, Pennsylvania, where Amariah C. Emery, 10, was found killed alongside her mother, Nichole Pumphrey, and Lawrence Cannon in a triple homicide.

By Hope Kahn · Age 17
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Diligent students

Domestic violence ends a stepson’s life

Kameron Porter

Age 18 · Memphis, Tennessee

While his first job was at the Wet Wet Paint Shop, he always dreamed of working among the consoles, collectables, and video games at Gamestop.

While friends knew him as cool and laid back, he was also extremely protective of his family. He was used to hearing arguments between his mother and his stepfather and often tried to protect his mother.

On Sept. 15, 2018, Kameron Porter’s mother and stepfather’s argument escalated to fatal domestic violence in Memphis, Tennessee. Porter, 18, was shot in the torso and killed by his stepfather with a 9mm pistol after an argument about his mother’s car.

By Mary Claire Molloy · Age 18 and Jailyn Fleming · Age 17
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Gamers

Blue eyes, dimples and chubby cheeks

Joseph Anthony Pintucci

Age 18 · Dallas, Texas

He was raised by his aunt and uncle from the age of 6, in a childhood filled with affection. An adventurous boy, he enjoyed sword fights, football and fire trucks.  

In high school, he loved driving his car, playing video games and rebuilding tools with his grandfather. He had a girlfriend; one of their favorite activities was binge-watching “Adventure Time.” She adored his blue eyes, dimples and chubby cheeks.

On Jan. 24, 2019, Joseph Anthony Pintucci was shot in Dallas, Texas, in a parking lot of Dick’s Sporting Goods store. He was taken to nearby Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, but later died.

By Peyton Spellacy · Age 17
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Gamers

Never got to walk the stage

Da'quan Mahmund Albright

Age 17 · Chicago, Illinois

He was 17 years old, a senior in high school, a music fanatic, and a big sports fan who followed the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Bears closely.

He enjoyed playing video games in his free time, you could find him at church on Sundays, and he always had an eye on the latest clothing trends.

Da’quan Mahmund Albright never made it to the first day of his senior year. He was shot multiple times on Aug. 19, 2018, in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

By Grace Moriarty · Age 17
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Gamers

He had dreams with childhood friend

Tony La’Vonte White

Age 18 · Pine Bluff, Arkansas

“Remember we was 5 we said we was gonna get a big house together,” Bryant Jordan reminisced in a Facebook post. “I said ima back all my cars in and you said you was gonna pull right in.”

People knew “Little Tony” as a “very respectful” person. The teen liked to spend time playing video games, talking on the phone or being with family.  

Tony La’Vonte White, 18, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, attended Pine Bluff High School. He was fatally shot at an apartment complex and died at Jefferson Regional Medical Center the evening of Jan. 19, 2019.

By Zoe Hsu · Age 16
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Gamers

A fun soul, all about family

Demonte Barbee

Age 18 · Bartlesville, Oklahoma

A native of Nowata, Oklahoma, he enjoyed playing “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and hanging out with friends. According to the story they would later write about him, he had a great sense of humor and always made people smile. He was a fun soul who was all about family.

One Saturday night in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, he was with a 19-year-old friend, who grabbed a .45 caliber handgun from him. The gun went off.

Demonte Barbee, 18, was accidently shot in the torso and flown to a hospital in Tulsa, where he died the next day.

By Brianna Rodriguez · Age 17
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Gamers

She made her dolls happy, too

Alisia JaNell Williams

Age 9 · New Orleans, Louisiana

Playing with dolls, dancing and dressing up were some of her favorite activities. Her neighbors remembered her as “an angel” with a “beautiful spirit.”

“She was energetic, full of life and the sweetest little girl you could ever meet,” Nishma Morris wrote. “She always kept a smile on her face even when she was mad and if she had anything to do with it she would make sure you kept a smile too.”

Alisia JaNell Williams, 9, of New Orleans, Louisiana, was shot in the upper torso and died at the University Medical Center on Jan. 12, 2019.

By Zoe Hsu · Age 16
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Dancers

He was so full of life

Orlando Myron Anderson Jr.

Age 8 · Mangohick, Virginia

He was happiest running around the yard, pressing the trigger of his water gun and gleefully discharging it at his friends. The Acquinton Elementary School student delivered his hugs with a smile so infectious, you couldn’t help but go along with it.

“Lil Scrappy,” as he was called, liked to work on his dance moves, especially “the floss.”  “It was never a dull moment with him,” said his mother.

It was around midnight on Jan. 23, 2019, when Orlando Myron Anderson Jr., 8, was shot and killed by an intruder in his Mangohick, Virginia, home.

By Scarlett Liriano Cepin · Age 19
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Dancing in our hearts for eternity

Cara Marie Loughran

Age 14 · Parkland, Florida

Her loved ones were uplifted by her bubbly personality and kindness.

Her Irish heritage shined through her elegant Irish dancing. After hours at the dance studio, she also enjoyed gymnastics and looked up to many female Olympians. She was a Disney fanatic and enjoyed superhero movies. She was a ray of positivity to everyone who knew her and never gave up when things got difficult. She had a laugh that left a smile on everyone’s face and in everyone’s heart.

Cara Marie Loughran, 14, was shot and killed on Feb. 14, 2018, in a hallway at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

By Brianna Jesionowski · Age 16
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Dancers

Her father died in her arms

Xzariah Denecca Rice

Age 16 · Huntsville, Alabama

Her father died in her arms in a shooting when she was just 13. Despite that, by the time she was 16, she was known as a goofy, happy person.

Dance was her passion. A star on the Jemison High School Jaguarette Dance Team and captain of the Limelight Dance Production, she was also an honors student. She was excited to get her driver’s license and start junior year of high school. Many recall how her kindness extended to everyone around her.

Xzariah Denecca Rice was shot and killed alongside her friend, Heaven Hines, on June 19, 2018, in Huntsville, Alabama.

By Madeline Levin · Age 15
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Fatal price for the American dream

Doumba Sannoh

Age 17 · Riverdale, Georgia

She was a preschooler when she emigrated from West Africa with her mom, hoping for the American dream. She celebrated her Sierra Leonean identity by sharing native dances and dishes with her coworkers.

When she and her boyfriend were expecting their child, they set up a baby registry with wishlist items: “I laugh at dad jokes,” stuffed zebra, checkered sneakers. Their relationship ended soon after.

Doumba Sannoh, 17, was making breakfast for her mother at her house in Riverdale, Georgia, when her ex-boyfriend shot and killed her in a murder-suicide. Aug. 5, 2018 marked the day their 7-month-old son, Christopher, lost both parents.

By Sophia Levin · Age 15
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His name meant “the fearless one”

Jabari Steffon Montplaisir

Age 17 · Newark, New Jersey

He carried himself with dignity, standing tall with his jaw set and his chin up. In Swahili, his name meant “fearless one.”

On a Tuesday night in July, he was in Broadway, a community in Newark, New Jersey, home to historic buildings and bustling cultural diversity. The area has “has plenty of history and character,” Newark’s website remarks. Just looking at a picture of him, it’s not hard to imagine that he did too.

On July 24, 2018, Jabari Steffon Montplaisir, 17, was fatally shot in Newark in a double homicide. An 18-year-old was left in critical condition.

Help complete this profile. We are currently seeking more information on the young person killed in this incident. If you have anything to share, please contact us at SinceParkland@thetrace.org.

By Sequoia Wyckoff · Age 15
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Endangered runaway. Missing person. Lost boy.

Samuel Nichouls

Age 17 · Cleveland, Ohio

The Ohio attorney general posted a photo of him with basic details. Height: 5 feet, 9 inches. Hair color: black. Age: 17. The boy was smiling — an expression that seemed out of place on a missing person poster. He was last seen in East Cleveland, Ohio, on Jan. 20, 2019.  

He was discovered 18 days later in the driveway of a home on 114th street.

Samuel Nichouls was shot multiple times in the head and torso on Feb. 7, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Responders pronounced him dead in the driveway, with at least a dozen bullet casings surrounding his body.

Help complete this profile. We are currently seeking more information on the young person killed in this incident. If you have anything to share, please contact us at SinceParkland@thetrace.org.

By Allie Kelly · Age 18
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East Harlem grieved after losing Samuel

Samuel Ozuna

Age 17 · Manhattan, New York

New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood is a maze of bodegas and soul food restaurants. It is a community that blends Italian, Latino and Afro-American cultures.

All walks of life coexist in “El Barrio,” but not always peacefully. East Harlem historically has the highest violent crime rate in Manhattan, with 406 counts of theft and 247 counts of assault from April to October of 2018.

Samuel Ozuna, 17, was shot multiple times in front of a building in East Harlem's George Washington Carver Houses on April 24, 2018, at around 8:38 p.m. He was later pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Help complete this profile. We are currently seeking more information on the young person killed in this incident. If you have anything to share, please contact us at SinceParkland@thetrace.org.

By Sokhna Fall · Age 17
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Another tragedy at the Peppertree Apartments

Unknown

Age 18 · Memphis, Tennessee

The smooth gray walls of Peppertree Apartments in Whitehaven, Tennessee, may make it seem like a safe and nice living space. However, the tenants know the complex sometimes attracts trouble. Peppertree has continued to make headlines in the news with stories of crime, drug abuse or violence over the past few years.

"Makes me feel bad. You can`t let your kids go out and play like you used to," said one tenant.

 Another said that gun violence was “very normal” in the neighborhood.

An 18-year-old man was found at the apartment complex, dead from a gunshot wound on the morning of Nov. 14, 2018.

Help complete this profile. We are currently seeking more information on the young person killed in this incident. If you have anything to share, please contact us at SinceParkland@thetrace.org.

By Zoe Hsu · Age 16
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Another childhood lost to Chicago violence

Ke’Nichi Sims

Age 17 · Chicago, Illinois

He lived in Grand Crossing, a collection of neighborhoods that exploded in growth during Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.

Right next to Grand Crossing is the neighborhood of Englewood, home to the Exposition’s notorious serial killer, H.H. Holmes, and his “murder hotel” in the 1800s. Centuries later, guns are the number one killer in the neighborhood, with more than 4,800 shootings since 2000.

On Nov. 28, 2018, Ke’Nichi Sims, 17, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in a vacant lot in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.

Help complete this profile. We are currently seeking more information on the young person killed in this incident. If you have anything to share, please contact us at SinceParkland@thetrace.org.

By Mary Claire Molloy · Age 18
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