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Drake Alexander Painter

Age 4

Ponder, Texas

No more flowers picked for mother

He was an old soul, preferring the real world to screens. He found nature interesting. He picked flowers for his mother, showing his love and admiration for her.

His mother called him her “bear,” because he was such a cuddle monster. They loved being in one another’s arms. Now, his mother’s arms remain empty.

On May 16, 2018, Drake Alexander Painter, 4, of Ponder, Texas, was shot and killed alongside his two siblings by his mother’s ex-husband, who also killed her boyfriend before turning the gun on himself. His mother was the sole survivor.

By Emma Presnell · Age 16
Meet the Reporters

More than 80 infants and toddlers

Izabella Marie Helem

Brother shoots his sister by accident

Damion Little Jr.

By his mother’s side until death

Ke'Anthony Terez Jelks Jr.

He was well beyond his years

David Jermaine Hall

Empty seat in his mother’s car

Jason Garcia Perez

Three months from his first birthday


Ears ringing. Loud noise. Third accident.


The pistol was on the counter

Nyla Jones

Shot by accident, while with family

Paxton Reece Edwards

It seemed like a happy home

Owen Propes

Rosy cheeks, blue eyes. Only 3.

Kayleen Lor

She just wanted to help people

Aiden Martin

Cinnamon twists. Play-Doh. Accident. Bloody refrigerator.

Julien Gonzalez

The youngest infant at his daycare

Messiah Murphy

A wrong turn, a grandson gone

Kyrie L. Johnson

He was only 17 months old

Livia Robinson

Sweet Livia’s smile ended while sleeping

Mikayla Alina Walker

Champion won’t lift yellow sword again

Montreal Dunn

Picket fence couldn’t keep him safe

Malachi La'Velle Michael Barnes

His mom had birthday invitations ready

Moises Ramon Montano

He was resting in Mom’s arms