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Gabriel Orlando Fernandez

Age 13

Houston, Texas

Friends thought gun was a toy

He was doing what kids usually do with friends: Laughing, joking and messing around. Nothing too serious, so they thought.

He was in his best friend’s backyard passing around what they thought was just “a toy.” Then tragedy struck. His mother, a nurse, raced over. She said he was still breathing. Maybe he’d someday play football again.  

Instead, she saw him take his final breath. One friend said, “He didn’t deserve this, but that’s just how life goes.”

Gabriel Orlando Fernandez died from an accidental gunshot wound to the head in Houston on Jan. 19, 2019. He was 13 years old.

By Ryann Zarrieff · Age 19
Meet the Reporters

More than 200 friends

Saniyah Monee Nicholson

Funny faces and pigtails no longer

Tyrese A. Jones

He was beloved at his school


Shot while walking down the street

Kameron Johnson

He dreamed of college and cars

Kameron Porter

Domestic violence ends a stepson’s life

Jacob Matthew Edwards

A survivor, full of heart. Gone.

Corey Donald II

He had just started barber school

Floyd Chianti Davenport IV

“Baba stay woke...Baba stay woke!”

Kelvion’te A. Trammell

Engine still running, no life left

Clinton Howell

A daily trip that turned deadly

Jayvone J. Shackelford-Bishop

Friends together like Lilo & Stitch

Joel Keshon Green

An interrupted trail of Facebook photos

Fernando Perez

“What is it going to take?”

Delametric Djuan Fairley

Never got to make travel plans

Moltere Charles Jr.

#TGFAD — Thank God for another day

Oliver Santos

Big smile stolen on Saturday night

Darryl Lamar Johnson

A family visit. He never left.

Xavier Montrail Thomas

Candles flicker against darkness for Zay

Samuel Ozuna

Always respectful, loved by his friends

Romane D. Taylor Jr.

Intelligent and playful, beloved by buddies