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Alejandro Vargas Martinez

Age 15

Orlando, Florida

Struck down while walking to school

He went from deep brown curls to bleached braids and back at different times. But his smile and his soulful eyes never changed.

A sophomore at Boone High School in Orlando, Florida, he liked to cook and to style hair. When they found out, his friends couldn’t stop crying. When his family asked for help, they raised $2,000 in a day. His school district called him “a fine young man.”

Alejandro Vargas Martinez, 15, was shot in Orlando on Dec. 18, 2018, while walking to school. “I don’t believe it,” a friend said. “It could have been any of us.”

By Ava Uditsky · Age 16
Meet the Reporters

More than 200 friends

Saniyah Monee Nicholson

Funny faces and pigtails no longer

Tyrese A. Jones

He was beloved at his school


Shot while walking down the street

Kameron Johnson

He dreamed of college and cars

Kameron Porter

Domestic violence ends a stepson’s life

Jacob Matthew Edwards

A survivor, full of heart. Gone.

Corey Donald II

He had just started barber school

Floyd Chianti Davenport IV

“Baba stay woke...Baba stay woke!”

Kelvion’te A. Trammell

Engine still running, no life left

Clinton Howell

A daily trip that turned deadly

Jayvone J. Shackelford-Bishop

Friends together like Lilo & Stitch

Joel Keshon Green

An interrupted trail of Facebook photos

Fernando Perez

“What is it going to take?”

Delametric Djuan Fairley

Never got to make travel plans

Moltere Charles Jr.

#TGFAD — Thank God for another day

Oliver Santos

Big smile stolen on Saturday night

Darryl Lamar Johnson

A family visit. He never left.

Xavier Montrail Thomas

Candles flicker against darkness for Zay

Samuel Ozuna

Always respectful, loved by his friends

Romane D. Taylor Jr.

Intelligent and playful, beloved by buddies