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James Alexzander Shorter

Age 17

Des Moines, Iowa

He’ll never taste grandma’s cookies again

She told him to imagine what brought him the greatest joy. He thought about his grandma making cookies for him. And then he smiled, a great big one that radiated throughout his face.

He loved to play football, but a back injury forced him to leave the sport. He loved rap music, hanging out with girlfriends, and playing sports of all kinds.

James Alexzander Shorter, 17, a student at East High School in Des Moines, Iowa, died on May 28, 2018, after accidentally shooting himself while in his car. He died during surgery at Mercy Medical Center.

By Madison Hahamy · Age 18
Meet the Reporters

More than 300 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

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

Ra’Quan Darius Jones

Didn’t get to see his GED

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