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Ryan Amadeo Dela Cruz

Age 17

Seattle, Washington

Gone, two weeks shy of graduation

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
Meet the Reporters

Kameron Porter

Age 18

Memphis, Tennessee

Domestic violence ends a stepson’s life

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
Meet the Reporters

Clinton Howell

Age 12

Bridgeport, Connecticut

A daily trip that turned deadly

Every morning, the seventh-grader greeted his teachers with a smile, high-five, handshake or hug. He found joy in video gaming, biking and snacking.

Almost daily, he walked to La Bodega Grocery, located less than five minutes from his house in Bridgeport, Connecticut. A week before Christmas, he brought his older cousin and bought his favorites — honey bun pastries and juice.

Steps before arriving home on Dec. 18, 2018, Clinton Howell, 12, was shot in the chest and killed. Police said the intended target of the shooting was his 17-year-old cousin. Clinton would have turned 13 on Jan. 9, 2019.

By Claire Chu · Age 16
Meet the Reporters

Ramon Enriquez Barragan

Age 17

Garden City, Kansas

Born, raised, died in Garden City

In the photo, his curly dark hair falls over his forehead. His sweet dark eyes and slight smile go hand-in-hand with the “kind-hearted young man” he was said to be.  

One of eight siblings, he “always put others before himself.” Video games, boxing and singing were his passions. He belonged to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Garden City, Kansas, where he was born and raised.

Ramon Enriquez Barragan, 17, was riding in a car at 1:40 p.m. on July 14, 2018, at the U.S. Highway 50 bypass between Third Street and Campus Drive in Garden City, when shots were fired into the car by a passing vehicle. Ramon was struck. He was taken to St. Catherine’s Hospital, where he died.

By Ava Uditsky · Age 16 and Yasmeen Franks · Age 16
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Joseph Anthony Pintucci

Age 18

Dallas, Texas

Blue eyes, dimples and chubby cheeks

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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LaVell Whittley Jr.

Age 16

Natchez, Mississippi

Loved his blue and white jersey

Family and friends called him “LJ” to differentiate from his namesake, his father.

Dressed in his blue and white football jersey, he loved being a Natchez Bulldog almost as much as he loved following professional sports. When he wasn’t on the football field, he split his time between playing Madden and attending services at Greater Mount Bethel Baptist Church, where Natchez students would later “come to pay their respects,” according to family friend Sonya King.

On April 6, 2018, paramedics found LaVell “LJ” Whittley Jr., 16, dead on arrival after a likely accidental shooting in a friend’s garage in Natchez, Mississippi.

By Elizabeth Meisenzahl · Age 17
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William Jacaree Edwards

Age 16

Birmingham, Alabama

Turned in his football jersey forever

The captain of Woodlawn High School's football team couldn't play in Friday night's game due to a family emergency. As he handed his game jersey to his coach, he told him that he loved him.

His coach and mother called him a fun guy who would grow into a great man with real talent. Scouts who saw him play considered him for NCAA Division I colleges.

On that same Friday, September 1, 2018, junior William Jacaree Edwards, 16, had just finished playing the video game Madden when he was shot through a window of his Birmingham, Alabama bedroom. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

By Nancy Bowne · Age 17
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Da'quan Mahmund Albright

Age 17

Chicago, Illinois

Never got to walk the stage

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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Tony La’Vonte White

Age 18

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

He had dreams with childhood friend

“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
Meet the Reporters

Demonte Barbee

Age 18

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

A fun soul, all about family

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
Meet the Reporters

More than 50 gamers

Ryan Amadeo Dela Cruz

Gone, two weeks shy of graduation

Kameron Porter

Domestic violence ends a stepson’s life

Clinton Howell

A daily trip that turned deadly

Ramon Enriquez Barragan

Born, raised, died in Garden City

Joseph Anthony Pintucci

Blue eyes, dimples and chubby cheeks

LaVell Whittley Jr.

Loved his blue and white jersey

William Jacaree Edwards

Turned in his football jersey forever

Da'quan Mahmund Albright

Never got to walk the stage

Tony La’Vonte White

He had dreams with childhood friend

Demonte Barbee

A fun soul, all about family

Kevin Israel Ortiz

After holiday, death on Black Friday

Taylor Nathan Talmage

Siblings without their bookworm brother

Gabriel Jordan Early

Lost: “A child of exceptional intellect”

Jose A. Rosario Jr.

One hundred mourners honored him

Ian Richard Olson

Life lost behind a sky-blue door

Chevy Jace Redus Christopher

Spent his final night with Grandma

Justin Ameer Garner

Young man leaves behind big family

Eddyson Isidor

The game is over. Rest now.

Benjamin Michael Workman-Greco

He’ll never get to marry Reagan

Dijonae Amaya White

She made art and beautiful things