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Royale D'Von Smith Jr.

Age 18

Jacksonville, Florida

Never got to meet his baby

He held his hands to her stomach, feeling the movements of his future child within. What was now just an embryo would soon have tiny hands and curly locks mirroring his own.

He “was my everything,” his girlfriend would say. “I went to him for everything. He was my go-to. Even though I was older, he taught me so much.”

Royale D’Von Smith Jr., 18, was killed in a drive-by shooting after a friend’s birthday party in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 5, 2018. Five months later, his girlfriend found out they were having a little baby boy. “Royale prolly mad,” she said, laughing. “He wanted a girl.”

By Kaitlin Musante · Age 17
Meet the Reporters

More than 60 young parents

Luis Flores-Bravo

Hardworking father, planning for the future

Raydale Hill

Can no longer create his music

Jaquincy Jawan Ross

Wanted to buy her a scooter

Dex Moore

Death of child leaves baby fatherless

Ricky Lamar Green Jr.

His children never saw him box

Joshua Wright

He left behind a newborn son

Ricardo Del Moro

He wanted to protect our borders

Nai’Asalyn Lasha Brown

Nursing degree unfinished, child never born

Steven Alexander Jr.

He missed his first Father’s Day

LaMar De’Shawn Foster

Son will live without his father

Carnandez A. Davis

New family never to be whole

Doumba Sannoh

Fatal price for the American dream

Chicano Kobe Phillips

A momma’s boy and young father

Aiyonna Clarice Barrett

Her unborn child died with her

Gage Allan Kiser

He will never meet his child

Des'mon Reyshard Anderson

His baby lost her loving dad

James Williams

"Goofy" teen liked to dance in public

Elijah Michael Naranjo

Honor student with plans to enlist

Jamar Harris

Shots rang out, two were dead

Deshaun Singleton

His daughter won’t see him play