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Elisha Amon Cole

Age 17

Waldorf, Maryland

Dreaming big, working on his portfolio

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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Taveon Donte' Brooks

Age 15

Kansas City, Kansas

Basketball point guard, would-be rapper

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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Natwan Kian Holyfield

Age 17

Chicago, Illinois

Supposed to go to homecoming, prom

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.

By Bryn Healy · Age 17
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Orlando Myron Anderson Jr.

Age 8

Mangohick, Virginia

He was so full of life

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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Sharon Castro

Age 15

McLean, Virginia

She always helped those who struggled

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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Avi Liam Franco

Age 5

Henderson, Nevada

He loved to learn and explore

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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Zyhame Kila Jones

Age 18

Kansas City, Missouri

An artist, basketball player and car-lover

He was an artist, a basketball player, and he loved to fix cars.

On a Tuesday night, he was in Sheffield Park when a gunshot rang out. The shot was met by the city “with a quiet resignation,” The Kansas City Star’s editorial board wrote. “What would the reaction be if this had happened in Overland Park or Blue Springs or Lee’s Summit?” they asked, referring to nearby, wealthier communities.

On Oct. 9, 2018, Zyhame Kila Jones, 18, was fatally shot in Kansas City, Missouri. He was the twelfth student from Kansas City Public Schools to be shot in 2018.

By Sequoia Wyckoff · Age 15
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Kendrick D. Davis

Age 15

Macon, Georgia

Not quite clear on his dreams

“Bam” is what family and friends called him, after “Bam Bam,” the cartoon character from The Flintstones, because he was “so strong.”

He loved to play basketball and grew up in a middle-class neighborhood with a single mother. In an interview, neighbor Vanessa Middlebrooks wrote that “Bam” had a gentle side, but was also a rebel without cause. Like many teenagers, he was “not quite clear on his dreams,” she said.

At 11 p.m. on the night before Halloween, Kendrick D. Davis, 16, was found at the corner of Warpath and Manson roads in Macon, Georgia, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He died early the next morning.

By Jordan Smith · Age 17
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Lorenzo Moore-Vaughn

Age 17

Black Jack, Missouri

About to start his senior year

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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Jeremiah Ascencio

Age 17

Moreno Valley, California

Last moments spent cradling his brother

Known as “Lil JJ,” he was a tall, skinny 17-year-old, often seen smiling in photos with his older brother. Both had played football for Canyon Springs High School.

Loved ones described him as “always full of energy;” he had dropped out of high school and was being home-schooled instead.

On March 7, 2018, Jeremiah and his brother Eli were outside a Jack in the Box restaurant in Moreno Valley, California. Witnesses claim that they heard six to seven gunshots. Eli was shot in the neck and Jeremiah rushed to his side, only to be shot in the chest. He died. Eli died, too.

By Izabella Ge · Age 15
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More than 200 athletes

Elisha Amon Cole

Dreaming big, working on his portfolio

Taveon Donte' Brooks

Basketball point guard, would-be rapper

Natwan Kian Holyfield

Supposed to go to homecoming, prom

Orlando Myron Anderson Jr.

He was so full of life

Sharon Castro

She always helped those who struggled

Avi Liam Franco

He loved to learn and explore

Zyhame Kila Jones

An artist, basketball player and car-lover

Kendrick D. Davis

Not quite clear on his dreams

Lorenzo Moore-Vaughn

About to start his senior year

Jeremiah Ascencio

Last moments spent cradling his brother

Vicente Valero III

He was a modern Renaissance man

James Alexzander Shorter

He’ll never taste grandma’s cookies again

Jayden Fondeur

His older brother found him first

Jontae Billups-Brooks

An athlete and a music lover

Ray Glasgow III

Bench wears jersey instead of captain

Ta Quan Pinkney

Bright future; gone too soon

Ricky Lamar Green Jr.

His children never saw him box

Jovontia Antonio Jones

A runner grieved by seven siblings

Brandon Nathan Tyson

Friday night lights end in tragedy

Tyron Cherez George

His beloved Air Jordans rest, unworn