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De’Angelo Mayes

Age 12

Meridian, Mississippi

A helper around the house, gone

Blue had always been his favorite color. As one of his mother’s four sons, he picked up slack around the house to help his mom.

At school in Meridian, Mississippi, he engaged classmates with his sense of humor. His social media posts “always make me laugh,” his friend Takirra Smith wrote on Instagram. Aunt Niah Hill, who knew him as “Dee,” considered him “my second child,” she wrote in a social media post.

Twenty-six hours after an accidental self-inflicted gunshot, De’Angelo Mayes, 12, died on May 15, 2018, from his injuries at Batson Children’s Hospital.

By Elizabeth Meisenzahl · Age 17
Meet the Reporters

More than 100 jokesters

Natwan Kian Holyfield

Supposed to go to homecoming, prom

Kaiden Vague

Sixteenth birthday. Golden birthday. Last birthday.

Eric Xavier Degori

His jokes could make anyone laugh

Will Earl Davis Jr.

The rising senior was always smiling

Rashiya Melton

Joins brother, leaves behind her twin

Edgar Alan Espino

Jokester loved to make people laugh

Daron Johnson

He went to celebrate another’s life

Jayvone J. Shackelford-Bishop

Friends together like Lilo & Stitch

Deandre Moon

Overnight tragedy for a basketball fan

Terale Claridy-Vaught

‘Solid’ friend barely gets to adulthood

Robert Carranza

He liked to post song lyrics

Amauri Green

Died while fixing a flat tire

Eddie Daiquan Grant

A devoted boyfriend and rap fan

Bryan Portales Escalante

Phone, wallet, shoes and, life — gone

Darion Gordon

Sixteen years erased by one bullet

Steven Alexander Jr.

He missed his first Father’s Day

Jonathan David Freeman Jr.

Debated anything, from music to Deflategate

Matthew James Jurado

Challenging student had a compassionate heart

Ryan J. Dillon

A playful boy, stopped by bullets

Manuel Lopez Jr.

High school senior set to graduate