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Makaila Raven JaNae Simon

Age 15

Spring, Texas

Before, she laughed and filmed him

Surrounded by friends, she had just celebrated her 15th birthday. She was a ninth-grader at Lamar High School in Harris County, Texas. Her mother described her as, “a very sweet, giving, kind-hearted person. Everything you would want in a daughter.”

She had a boyfriend named Javon. His family owned a rifle. As the 17-year-old boy waved the weapon around like a toy, she laughed and filmed him.

At 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 27, 2018, the gun fired. Makaila Raven JaNae Simon, 15, died after being shot in the chest at a home in Spring, Texas.

By Lila Taylor · Age 16
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