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Branden Patten

Age 9

Arboles, Colorado

Only two brothers came back home

Outside his third-grade classroom at Pagosa Springs Elementary School, adventure was around the corner. With six siblings, he always had someone with whom to explore their hometown of Arboles, Colorado, which is near Navajo State Park and borders New Mexico.

On a Friday afternoon, one of his older siblings was on babysitting duty and sent him and two of their brothers, ages 7 and 10, to play outside. The three went to an unoccupied house nearby, and broke into a locked cabinet. Inside were two firearms. One was loaded.  

Branden Patten, 9, died in an accidental shooting on March 2, 2018, in Arboles, Colorado.

By Sophia Levin · Age 15
Meet the Reporters

More than 300 siblings

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.

Jovontia Antonio Jones

A runner grieved by seven siblings