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Izabella Marie Helem

Age 4

Lebanon, Indiana

Brother shoots his sister by accident

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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Damion Little Jr.

Age 3

Prichard, Alabama

By his mother’s side until death

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
Meet the Reporters

Ke'Anthony Terez Jelks Jr.

Age 2

Birmingham, Alabama

He was well beyond his years

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
Meet the Reporters

David Jermaine Hall

Age 2

Montgomery, Alabama

Empty seat in his mother’s car

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.

By Elizabeth Meisenzahl · Age 17
Meet the Reporters

Jason Garcia Perez

Age 1

Clearlake, California

Three months from his first birthday

He was exactly three months away from turning one year old. The youngest of four children, he was a bundle of joy who probably crawled everywhere. Maybe he was learning how to talk.

The child’s father had felonies for failing to register as a sex offender and a record of corporal battery of his spouse.

On Aug. 12, 2018, at 9 months old, Jason Garcia Perez was fatally shot by his father. He died in the family’s SUV along with two of his siblings in Clearlake, California, before his father shot and killed himself.

By Mary Claire Molloy · Age 18
Meet the Reporters

Unknown

Age 1

Mobile, Alabama

Ears ringing. Loud noise. Third accident.

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
Meet the Reporters

Unknown

Age 2

Livingston, Louisiana

The pistol was on the counter

"That made my heart drop,” said one of his neighbors, who was a father to a young son. “It made me want to play with my little boy right now...I'm going to go hug him, fry some fish and play with him."

The child won’t get a hug from his father, and he won’t get to play and have fried fish. On a Monday morning, he climbed onto a stool and reached for a pistol left loaded on the counter. He fired one shot.

On Sept. 17, 2018, a 2-year-old boy died in his home after accidentally shooting himself in the face in Livingston, Louisiana. No charges were filed.

By Sequoia Wyckoff · Age 15
Meet the Reporters

Nyla Jones

Age 4

Miami, Florida

Shot by accident, while with family

Her Saturdays were usually filled with Doc McStuffins and playdates with her cousins.

On the Saturday before Easter, “she lit the room up,” said Sharon DaMitchell, her aunt. The excitement of festivities and time with family was clearly reflected in her youthful face. She was in the backseat of DaMitchell’s car with two of her cousins that morning. She wouldn’t make it to Easter.

Nyla Jones, 4, was accidentally shot in the face by her uncle in Miami, Florida, on March 31, 2018.

By Tess Fuller · Age 16
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Paxton Reece Edwards

Age 3

Wilmington, Delaware

It seemed like a happy home

Days before, he was in the backyard, playing like a typical kid with his brother and sister. He left his toys scattered in his yard, next to the slide and kiddie pool he splashed around in during the summer.

He was a smiley blond-haired, blue-eyed boy from a family of five. To those who saw him in the neighborhood and on social media, he seemed to be from a happy home.

Paxton Reece Edwards, 3, was shot and killed by his father at his house in Wilmington, Delaware, on July 9, 2018. His brother, sister and mother were also killed before his father turned the gun on himself.

By Kirsten Ishii · Age 15
Meet the Reporters

Owen Propes

Age 3

Santa Fe County, New Mexico

Rosy cheeks, blue eyes. Only 3.

In a July 2017 photo, he gives the camera a sideways glance, chubby fingers busy shoveling food into his mouth. He’s a toddler — rosy cheeks, unruly blond hair and bright blue eyes.

He and his father lived on a mountain near Tesuque, New Mexico. “They lived a very outdoorsy kind of life,” his grandfather said, calling him “an extremely active child.”

Santa Fe sheriff’s deputies found Owen Propes, 3, on Jan. 17, 2019, at home with his father, who had missed a custody hearing that morning. Deputies said Owen’s father shot and killed Owen, himself and their dog that afternoon.

By Allie Kelly · Age 18
Meet the Reporters

More than 80 infants and toddlers

Izabella Marie Helem

Brother shoots his sister by accident

Damion Little Jr.

By his mother’s side until death

Ke'Anthony Terez Jelks Jr.

He was well beyond his years

David Jermaine Hall

Empty seat in his mother’s car

Jason Garcia Perez

Three months from his first birthday

Unknown

Ears ringing. Loud noise. Third accident.

Unknown

The pistol was on the counter

Nyla Jones

Shot by accident, while with family

Paxton Reece Edwards

It seemed like a happy home

Owen Propes

Rosy cheeks, blue eyes. Only 3.

Aiden Martin

Cinnamon twists. Play-Doh. Accident. Bloody refrigerator.

Julien Gonzalez

The youngest infant at his daycare

Messiah Murphy

A wrong turn, a grandson gone

Kyrie L. Johnson

He was only 17 months old

Livia Robinson

Sweet Livia’s smile ended while sleeping

Mikayla Alina Walker

Champion won’t lift yellow sword again

Montreal Dunn

Picket fence couldn’t keep him safe

Malachi La'Velle Michael Barnes

His mom had birthday invitations ready

Moises Ramon Montano

He was resting in Mom’s arms

Nathan Isaiah Hurtado

Tragic end for a happy kid