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Yaleah Hall

Age 17

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sister, daughter, dancer, since day one

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
Meet the Reporters

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
Meet the Reporters

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
Meet the Reporters

Cara Marie Loughran

Age 14

Parkland, Florida

Dancing in our hearts for eternity

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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Xzariah Denecca Rice

Age 16

Huntsville, Alabama

Her father died in her arms

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
Meet the Reporters

Taylor Hayes

Age 7

Baltimore, Maryland

A star on her karaoke machine

She was constantly dancing and singing along to the “Frozen” soundtrack on her karaoke machine.

Her spunky personality didn’t fade in the classroom. An incoming second-grader at Robert Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, her enthusiasm for school blossomed as she practiced her skills with a Reading Partners volunteer and with a tutor every week for an hour. “Every morning she would come into my office and give me a hug,” said Principal Carlillian Thompson. 

On July 5, Taylor Hayes, 7, was shot while in the backseat of a car. She remained in critical condition until she passed away on July 19, 2018.

By Hope Kahn · Age 17
Meet the Reporters

Arthur Roger Holloway III

Age 17

Dallas, Texas

His obituary ran in two states

He was a boy of two cities — New Orleans, Louisiana, and Dallas, Texas.

Those who watched him grow up in Louisiana knew a little boy who loved to play the bongos with his grandmother at church, as well as step with liturgical dancers. He moved to Dallas and grew into a handsome young man, bringing his good energy to Texas.

On Oct. 14, 2018, Arthur “AJ” Roger Holloway III, 17, was shot and killed at Briarwyck Apartments in Dallas, after attending a birthday party. His obituary was published in both Louisiana and Texas, so that his loved ones from both states could mourn.

By Mary Claire Molloy · Age 18
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Doumba Sannoh

Age 17

Riverdale, Georgia

Fatal price for the American dream

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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Eugene Ryder Stamey

Age 6

Hephzibah, Georgia

Innocent game turned to foul play

Bright-eyed and brown-haired, his energy for life followed him wherever he went. He loved being in the spotlight, always singing, dancing, and smiling. His grandmother said there was “nothing this little boy could've ever done wrong in his life.”

He was playing zombies, a variation of the game tag, with his mother’s live-in boyfriend and the boyfriend’s 8-year-old nephew. They chased each other with Nerf Guns around the house in Hephzibah, Georgia.

On Nov. 5, 2018, while they were playing, the boyfriend allegedly pulled out a shotgun, aimed it at Eugene Ryder Stamey, 6, and fatally shot him.

By Katherine Oung · Age 15
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Des'mon Reyshard Anderson

Age 18

Baltimore, Maryland

His baby lost her loving dad

Wearing a gray sweater, he beams at the camera, showing off a cursive tattoo on his forearm.

He loved playing football, rapping, dancing, being a sibling and cousin. But, more than anything, he loved being a dad. He adored his daughter and was devoted to her in every way, calling her pet names whenever she asked for her daddy.

Des’mon Rayshard Anderson, 18, was killed in Baltimore, Maryland, on Dec. 1, 2018. One other person was killed in the shooting and a third man was injured.

By Madison Hahamy · Age 18
Meet the Reporters

More than 30 dancers

Yaleah Hall

Sister, daughter, dancer, since day one

Alisia JaNell Williams

She made her dolls happy, too

Orlando Myron Anderson Jr.

He was so full of life

Cara Marie Loughran

Dancing in our hearts for eternity

Xzariah Denecca Rice

Her father died in her arms

Taylor Hayes

A star on her karaoke machine

Arthur Roger Holloway III

His obituary ran in two states

Doumba Sannoh

Fatal price for the American dream

Eugene Ryder Stamey

Innocent game turned to foul play

Des'mon Reyshard Anderson

His baby lost her loving dad

Tylon DaJaun Batey

So much family left to grieve

Justise Armoni Ledena Allen

She did not even look hurt

Eliza Kristine Orellana

She was a singer, dancer and friend

Alexa Denice Montez

Her father’s “greatest gift,” he said

Jaime Taylor Guttenberg

Independent, fearless, bright; a graceful dancer

Darius Marcel Boone

An infectious laugh silenced by violence

Michael D. Bardlett

To know Michael. To love Michael.

Kelvin Ramone Creech

Engaged. Ready for fatherhood. Taken away.

Trinity Renee-Jordan Wiggins

Her uncle’s house, pockmarked with bullets

Davieuntay Green

Summer stroll brought to a halt