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Darris Deandra Williams Jr.

Age 15

Cahokia, Illinois

Beautiful boy’s happy life suddenly shattered

He was the life of the party, always making people laugh. Basketball was his passion; his biggest dream was making it to the NBA.

He had three siblings and a close relationship with his mother. “I love you, I’ll see you later,” he told her, before it happened. He celebrated his 15th birthday on Oct. 14, 2018.

Twelve days later, he was gone. Darris Deandra Williams Jr. was shot on Oct. 26, 2018, on Sauget Avenue in Cahokia, Illinois. He died early the next day. “God didn’t prepare me to only spend 15 years with him,” his mother said afterward.

By Mary Kett · Age 16
Meet the Reporters

More than 200 athletes

Elisha Amon Cole

Dreaming big, working on his portfolio

Taveon Donte' Brooks

Basketball point guard, would-be rapper

Natwan Kian Holyfield

Supposed to go to homecoming, prom

Orlando Myron Anderson Jr.

He was so full of life

Sharon Castro

She always helped those who struggled

Avi Liam Franco

He loved to learn and explore

Zyhame Kila Jones

An artist, basketball player and car-lover

Kendrick D. Davis

Not quite clear on his dreams

Lorenzo Moore-Vaughn

About to start his senior year

Jeremiah Ascencio

Last moments spent cradling his brother

Vicente Valero III

He was a modern Renaissance man

James Alexzander Shorter

He’ll never taste grandma’s cookies again

Jayden Fondeur

His older brother found him first

Jontae Billups-Brooks

An athlete and a music lover

Ray Glasgow III

Bench wears jersey instead of captain

Ta Quan Pinkney

Bright future; gone too soon

Ricky Lamar Green Jr.

His children never saw him box

Jovontia Antonio Jones

A runner grieved by seven siblings

Brandon Nathan Tyson

Friday night lights end in tragedy

Tyron Cherez George

His beloved Air Jordans rest, unworn