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Rickey J. Nelson

Age 16

Merrillville, Indiana

Wanted to be a role model

As a son, he was his mother’s right-hand man. As a brother, he aimed to be a role model. And as a student, he joined his Merrillville High School thespian troupe.

From Gary, Indiana, he was a funny, clever, and a good-spirited teen. He had a bunch of pet names, like “Rico” and “Rickey-Mickey.” A bit of a homebody, he enjoyed family and supporting his community, evident through posts on his Facebook page, full of laughter and reunions.

On Aug. 5 2018, Rickey J. Nelson, 16, was shot in Merrillville, Indiana, in a car parked at Broadmoor Country Club Apartments.

By Nancy Bowne · Age 17
Meet the Reporters

More than 100 jokesters

Natwan Kian Holyfield

Supposed to go to homecoming, prom

Kaiden Vague

Sixteenth birthday. Golden birthday. Last birthday.

Eric Xavier Degori

His jokes could make anyone laugh

Will Earl Davis Jr.

The rising senior was always smiling

Rashiya Melton

Joins brother, leaves behind her twin

Edgar Alan Espino

Jokester loved to make people laugh

Daron Johnson

He went to celebrate another’s life

Jayvone J. Shackelford-Bishop

Friends together like Lilo & Stitch

Deandre Moon

Overnight tragedy for a basketball fan

Terale Claridy-Vaught

‘Solid’ friend barely gets to adulthood

Amauri Green

Died while fixing a flat tire

Eddie Daiquan Grant

A devoted boyfriend and rap fan

Bryan Portales Escalante

Phone, wallet, shoes and, life — gone

Darion Gordon

Sixteen years erased by one bullet

Steven Alexander Jr.

He missed his first Father’s Day

Jonathan David Freeman Jr.

Debated anything, from music to Deflategate

Matthew James Jurado

Challenging student had a compassionate heart

Ryan J. Dillon

A playful boy, stopped by bullets

Manuel Lopez Jr.

High school senior set to graduate

Domoni Gaither

He had a bright white smile