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Adrian Jesus Maldonado

Age 17

Dallas, Texas

Always the “son of my life”

He was the oldest in a big family. Two brothers. Two sisters. A mother who called him “hijo de mi vida,” the son of her life.

On February 25 the siblings gathered as they had the 17 Februaries before, meeting friends, cutting cake. This time, they weren’t celebrating. At sunset, the crowd joined hands,  “We have to let you go,” someone shouted. And 18 balloons met the Dallas sky.

Balloons for a “dreamer.” For an “adventurer in love.” For Adrian Jesus Maldonado, 17, who, on December 3, 2018, was shot and killed in a Texas motel room.

By Mary Claire Molloy · Age 18
Meet the Reporters

More than 300 siblings

Ramand Kassadine Davis

Happy in his SpongeBob SquarePants jammies

Yaleah Hall

Sister, daughter, dancer, since day one

Elisha Amon Cole

Dreaming big, working on his portfolio

Lia Lin Collier

A light, “unrelenting joy” extinguished

Peyton Nicole Hurt

Still helping others, even in death

Ryan Amadeo Dela Cruz

Gone, two weeks shy of graduation

Rashaad Izil Wisher

One brother buried. Then another one.

Izabella Marie Helem

Brother shoots his sister by accident

Raydale Hill

Can no longer create his music

Jaquincy Jawan Ross

Wanted to buy her a scooter

Lorenzo Moore-Vaughn

About to start his senior year

Elijah Foster

Dope Boy Gang. One less member.

Kameron Johnson

He dreamed of college and cars

Jeremiah Ascencio

Last moments spent cradling his brother

Shondricka J'Nay Adams

Celebrating one night, gone the next

Ty'Dre Shyheim Hailey

She didn’t know it was real

Jayden Fondeur

His older brother found him first

Jontae Billups-Brooks

An athlete and a music lover

Rashiya Melton

Joins brother, leaves behind her twin

Caydence Nicole Painter

Reading, dancing, playing. Siblings shot together.