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Lourdes Sandoval

Age 16

Houston, Texas

His constant death threats scared her

She was unwaveringly optimistic, floating through life with a smile. It seemed nothing could bring her down — that was, until she met Irbin Vargas. Obsessive, cruel, and drastic, his constant death threats scared her, a friend said.

“Next time you point a gun at me make sure you kill me cause I'm never talkin' to you again,” she once typed to him.

Just a few hours later on Sept. 12, 2018, Lourdes Sandoval, 16, was fatally shot in Houston, Texas. Months later, roses hang over fading bloodstains in a makeshift memorial.

By Kaitlin Musante · Age 17
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