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Shortavious Williams

Age 15

Helena-West Helena, Arkansas

Red balloons lifted. Red casket lowered.

On a dreary winter day, children gathered in the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club of Phillips County Armory Unit in a circle of remembrance. The red balloons they held bobbed in the air. They lifted them, as if in salute, then let go.

Donna Ewing, the mother of his friend and classmate at Central High School, called for community members to be an example to kids and “show them that it’s nothing in these streets.”

Shortavious Williams, 15, was shot dead in his bed on Jan. 20, 2019, in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. He was buried in a bright red casket.

By Elena Eisenstadt · 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