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Cedric Leonard Small

Age 16

Killeen, Texas

"Nerd trying to be a gangster"

He was an artist who “loved to laugh,” his mom said.

In his mother’s eyes, street life “snatched his innocence,” and a two-month sentence in juvenile detention didn’t help. But he dreamed of art school. He sketched Naruto characters on whatever spare paper he could find. “He was a nerd,” his mom said, “trying to act like a gangster.”

On February 21, 2018, Cedric Leonard Small, 16, was shot and killed during an alleged burglary in Killeen, Texas. His sketches were displayed at his funeral.

By Taylor Fang · Age 16 and Callie McQuilkin · Age 18
Meet the Reporters

More than 40 artists

Lia Lin Collier

A light, “unrelenting joy” extinguished

Peyton Nicole Hurt

Still helping others, even in death

Beverly McBride

Purple hair, just like her dad

Ricky Ryon Willis III

YouTuber was destined for great things

James J. Springer III

“The man” who never grew up

Zachary Mulford

Summer job turns into winter grief

Lashonda Sharreice Childs

A beautician who cried for help

Joaquin Oliver

A poet silenced, a brother missed

LaMar De’Shawn Foster

Son will live without his father

Jesus G. Reyes

Skateboarder inspired others with his art

Jaden Christopher Salois

Loved rap, then his song ended

Jamie Marie Kernop

Loved her Polaroid camera, sunsets, and sunflowers

Andy Kim

Fourth-grader with an artistic, gentle spirit

Fermin Alonso-Alonso Jr.

No more beautiful things to make

Shana Lorraine Fisher

16 for only a few days

Aric Whaley

He helped his neighbors shovel snow

Londyn Faith Strawn

Gymnast, artist, proud owner of Buttercup

Jordan Anthony Coleman

Recent grad with a passion for art

Rickey J. Nelson

Wanted to be a role model

Dijonae Amaya White

She made art and beautiful things