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Curtis T. Hairston Jr.

Age 18

Decatur, Illinois

A little brother immortalized in ink

When they were younger, he often took pictures with his big sister. In one photo, they’re dressed as Teletubbies, smiling widely for the camera. Another photo shows them holding a basketball and wearing caps too big for their heads. Another shows them sitting on a couch with a baby — a cousin, or a new sister, perhaps —  sitting between them.

Years later, his big sister is pictured with him again, this time with his face tattooed on her leg. “Love you lil bro. keep watching ova me,” she wrote. 

On January 4, 2019, Curtis T. Hairston Jr., 18, was shot multiple times in Decatur, Illinois, during what police say was a botched gun swap. Following his death, local leaders rallied to end to gun violence in their community.

By Ethan Hale · Age 17 and Sarah Emily Baum · 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.