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Alisia JaNell Williams

Age 9

New Orleans, Louisiana

She made her dolls happy, too

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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Kaiden Vague

Age 16

Santa Barbara, California

Sixteenth birthday. Golden birthday. Last birthday.

“[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.

By Isabel Hadly · Age 18
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Angel Medina

Age 16

Stockton, California

He hoped to see the world

He had big travel plans.

A party in Las Vegas to celebrate his mom’s birthday. A family vacation to Mexico. A trip with his two younger sisters to Disneyland.

Angel Medina, 16, was found shot in the driver’s seat of his car in a Walgreens parking lot on Feb 24, 2018, in Stockton, California. He later died at a local hospital. While he never got to see the world, a tattoo of his face is on his mother’s right arm, traveling with her as she lives out his dreams.

By Kaitlin Musante · Age 17
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Miguel Angel Luciano

Age 15

Birmingham, Alabama

Thankful for what his parents gave

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.

By Hope Kahn · Age 17
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Branden Patten

Age 9

Arboles, Colorado

Only two brothers came back home

Outside his third-grade classroom at Pagosa Springs Elementary School, adventure was around the corner. With six siblings, he always had someone with whom to explore their hometown of Arboles, Colorado, which is near Navajo State Park and borders New Mexico.

On a Friday afternoon, one of his older siblings was on babysitting duty and sent him and two of their brothers, ages 7 and 10, to play outside. The three went to an unoccupied house nearby, and broke into a locked cabinet. Inside were two firearms. One was loaded.  

Branden Patten, 9, died in an accidental shooting on March 2, 2018, in Arboles, Colorado.

By Sophia Levin · Age 15
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Brandon Blair Wareham

Age 18

Youngstown, Ohio

His life was still in construction

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.

By Sarah Bentley · Age 16
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Teunté Lewis Rice

Age 18

Chattanooga, Tennessee

His shirts and life cropped short

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.

By Alexis Wilks · Age 18 and Mary Claire Molloy · Age 18
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Colton J. Jensen

Age 18

Burwell, Nebraska

He planned to ride the rodeo

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.

By Anna Bock · Age 17
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Elias Knapp

Age 17

Putnam Valley, New York

Dirtbiking, skipping stones, being with his girlfriend

He had deep blue eyes and an affection for animals, especially dogs.

A senior at Putnam Valley High School, he was known for loving the outdoors; he often rode a dirtbike and took his girlfriend on adventures, including skipping stones together on the Hudson River. They celebrated their two-year dating anniversary on Oct. 3, 2018.

On Feb. 1, 2019, Elias Orion Knapp, 17, was playing with a gun with friends in his Putnam Valley, New York, home when he accidentally shot himself in the head. He was airlifted to the hospital, and eventually taken off life support. He died in his girlfriend’s arms.

By Mary Claire Molloy · Age 18
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Trevor Alston McClements

Age 18

Laurel, Delaware

Two weeks into his future, gone

His family remembers him as a “fun, loving, and adventurous young man.”  He loved trying new tricks on his hoverboard and snowboard, wearing his trademark smile the whole time.

He grew up playing Little League baseball. He found his true passion, however, playing soccer on the Seaford High School team. At his graduation, speakers encouraged him and his classmates to think of the future and to change the world.

Trevor “Trev” Alston McClements, 18, was shot on July 9, 2018, in Laurel, Delaware. He died three days later at Christiana Medical Center, two weeks after graduating.

By Sophia McDermott-Hughes · Age 18
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More than 30 adventurers

Alisia JaNell Williams

She made her dolls happy, too

Kaiden Vague

Sixteenth birthday. Golden birthday. Last birthday.

Angel Medina

He hoped to see the world

Miguel Angel Luciano

Thankful for what his parents gave

Branden Patten

Only two brothers came back home

Brandon Blair Wareham

His life was still in construction

Teunté Lewis Rice

His shirts and life cropped short

Colton J. Jensen

He planned to ride the rodeo

Elias Knapp

Dirtbiking, skipping stones, being with his girlfriend

Trevor Alston McClements

Two weeks into his future, gone

Gage Allan Kiser

He will never meet his child

Nathan Isaiah Hurtado

Tragic end for a happy kid

Christopher Don Nelson

Small-town boy, fisherman and hunter

Rene Emilio Gonzalez

Once a Titan, always a Titan

Meadow Jade Pollack

An unapologetic, adventurous princess in pink

Justin Lewis Maness

A rising freshman, downed by gun

Jerimiah Xavier Hernandez

Teen cared about his friends, family

Benjamin Michael Workman-Greco

He’ll never get to marry Reagan

Keyaris Samuels

The box had a gun inside

Ibn Hatcher Downey

He was fashionable, friendly and family-oriented