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Payton Robert Antonio Velarde

Age 15

Hanahan, South Carolina

Berkeley boy with the rose tattoo

The boy with loose curls and a tattoo of three roses across his forearm was the kind of person you could tell everything to. He stood by his friends even when they were facing dire circumstances, and they did the same for him.

People close to him say he was trying his best to become a better person. His friends recall how fun hanging out with him used to be.

On April 27, 2018, at 1:17 a.m. Payton Robert Antonio Velarde, 15, was gunned down in the middle of Belvedere and Sedgefield drives in Hanahan, South Carolina.

By Zachary Schermele · Age 18 and Scarlett Liriano Cepin · 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