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Vanessa Zaman

Age 18

Highland Springs, Virginia

Writer, English lover, future forensic psychologist

She was a prolific writer who won her school district’s annual poetry writing award and deeply loved English. She was incredibly smart and involved in her community, graduating at the top of her class at Amityville High School and volunteering every summer at Tanner Park. She dreamed of being a forensic psychologist.

But first she wanted to reunite with her biological father. She moved to Florida to live with him.

Her dream for their relationship was shattered on Dec. 13, 2018, when Vanessa Zaman, 18, and her cousin were shot in the head by Zaman’s father while walking along North Airport Drive in Highland Springs, Virginia.

By Melat Eskender · Age 17
Meet the Reporters

More than 100 diligent students

Ryan Amadeo Dela Cruz

Gone, two weeks shy of graduation

Jo'Markius Fuller

Never to wear grandma’s scarves again

Lorenzo Moore-Vaughn

About to start his senior year

Shondricka J'Nay Adams

Celebrating one night, gone the next

Jayden Fondeur

His older brother found him first

Jontae Billups-Brooks

An athlete and a music lover

Caydence Nicole Painter

Reading, dancing, playing. Siblings shot together.

Favian Isiah Carrillo Duran

Respectful, shy teen did grandma’s chores

Telvin Goll

He wished for the American Dream

Amariah C. Emery

On her T-shirt, a peace sign

Jon-Marvin Revels Jacobs

He was on his way home

Christopher Johnson

Making others better versions of themselves

Xzariah Denecca Rice

Her father died in her arms

Martez Christopher Wade

“He wasn’t a statistic,” said mom

NeQuacia Porsha Jacobs-Lewis

High school graduation, diploma, career — gone

Jonathan David Freeman Jr.

Debated anything, from music to Deflategate

Kevin Wilson Jr.

Star athlete with a bright future

Kaileigh Lin Collier

Was “more beautiful than she knew”

Martin Duque Anguiano

An ambitious, bright boy, senselessly killed

Francisco Puentes

Mom never received the happy news