Ten years ago Wednesday, a shooter walked into Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, with an AR-15 and killed 20 children and six school staffers. In the decade since, gun violence has become the leading cause of death for American children; more than 25,000 kids — from newborns to 19-year-olds — have been killed. No other industrialized country comes close to the US rate.
Yet little federal or state legislation has been enacted, and in many jurisdictions, 18-year-olds can legally buy an AR-15 — three years before they can lawfully buy a beer. Children continue to be unsafe, even in school.
At least 117 children and teachers in kindergarten through the 12th grade have been killed while going to school, attending class, or walking home since that day in Newtown, according to a BuzzFeed News analysis of data from the K–12 School Shooting Database and gun control advocacy group Everytown. Some of these victims dreamed of becoming veterinarians, marine biologists, artists, or teachers in the same schools where they died. A handful already had college scholarship offers for their academic achievements or athletic prowess. Others never lived long enough to discover their unique talents.
This count doesn’t include the nearly 100 more who have been wounded by gunfire during the school day. Nor does this total include those killed on school campuses on weekends, at sporting events, at graduation, those who died by suicide, or the countless others traumatized by witnessing the shootings.
The majority of these shootings never made national headlines. Many occurred in underfunded schools in lower-income neighborhoods that were already battling too much gun violence with too few resources. Half of the students killed were Black or Latino.
More than 100 children.
These are the lives we’ve lost.
Dec. 14, 2012
Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Charlotte was at her happiest wearing pink dresses and pigtails. She took weekly tae kwon do classes with her dad and brother. A lover of all animals, she had dreamed of growing up to be a veterinarian since the age of 2.
Daniel Barden, 7
Whether he was playing the drums in a band with his brother and sister or roasting marshmallows around the bonfire with his siblings, Daniel treasured time spent with his family most of all. On his last morning, he woke up early and ran outside in flip-flops to hug his brother goodbye before he left for school.
Rachel D’Avino, 29
D’Avino, a behavioral therapist at the school, loved cooking and baking, throwing themed parties, and her many pets — two frogs, two bunnies, and three family dogs. D’Avino’s boyfriend had planned to propose to her on Christmas. “Instead her engagement ring she never saw was placed on her right hand because her left wasn’t there after the shooting,” her sister told BuzzFeed News.
Olivia Engel, 6
Lively and fun-loving, Olivia’s enthusiasm was boundless. She was always ready to try something new, taking classes in dance, art, musical theater, and tennis, as well as playing on the soccer team and being a Girl Scout. At her funeral, according to the New Haven Register, her beloved American Girl doll was placed atop her coffin.
Josephine Gay, 7
Josephine, known as “Joey,” loved swimming and art, and her favorite movies were Alvin and the Chipmunks, Lemonade Mouth, and any of the Barbie movies. Mourners wore purple, Joey’s favorite color, at her funeral.
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dylan loved trampolines, computer games, chocolate, and looking at the moon. He had a contagious laugh, often heard during his favorite movies, which he’d rewind to see the funniest parts over and over again.
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Madeleine, known as “Maddie,” was always brimming with energy. She loved dogs, music, swimming, and riding her bike. If you ever caught her sitting still, it was probably because she was reading, her head tucked into one of her favorite books about fairies or princesses.
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47
Hochsprung, the school’s principal, was a mother of two and stepmother of three. She was beloved by students, parents, and staff alike for her cheerful and tenacious spirit. At a book fair weeks before her death, she had dressed up as a book fairy and sprinkled children with “fairy reading dust,” a school librarian told WBUR.
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Catherine loved animals more than anything and dreamed of running an animal shelter one day. Her family later opened an animal sanctuary in her honor. “Whether she was gently cradling an insect in her palm, or squeezing a furry friend in a full-bodied hug, Catherine wanted them to know that they could trust her and that she would keep them safe from harm,” her mother told BuzzFeed News.
Chase Kowalski, 7
Chase excelled in just about any sport he tried, but was especially passionate about baseball and running. Already a budding athlete, he competed in his first triathlon when he was just 6 and won in his age group. If he wasn’t out on the field, he was usually riding his bike or quad or learning to build something new at his local Home Depot’s kids workshop.
Jesse Lewis, 6
A lover of math and horses, Jesse had helped his parents set up a Christmas tree — but never got to decorate it. The family left it standing in their home for years, his dad told People.
Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, 6
The daughter of a jazz saxophonist, Ana Grace showed a passion for music that began early. She “danced before she walked, sang before she talked,” her family said, and she dreamed of becoming a pop star when she grew up. “She never walked anywhere — her mode of transportation was dance,” her family remembered.
James Mattioli, 6
No weather was too cold for James to be found in his signature shorts and T-shirt, a look he typically topped off with gel-spiked hair. He loved singing, arm wrestling, math, sports, and playing games on his iPad. “He loved hamburgers with ketchup, his Dad's egg omelets with bacon, and his Mom's french toast,” his family wrote in his obituary.
Grace McDonnell, 7
A lively and talkative young girl, Grace loved the beach and painting. She also loved going to school, her mom told CNN, packing her backpack every night and skipping to the bus stop each morning.
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Murphy, a special education teacher and mother of four, loved art and the outdoors. She was found dead holding the body of Dylan Hockley, having tried to protect him from the gunfire. “We take great comfort in knowing that Dylan was not alone when he died, but was wrapped in the arms of his amazing aide,” Dylan’s parents said.
Emilie Parker, 6
A passionate artist, Emilie brought markers and colored pencils wherever she went, always prepared for inspiration to strike. She especially loved making cards, which she’d give to those around her in difficult times to cheer them up, her dad told ABC News.
Jack Pinto, 6
Jack loved football, baseball, basketball, skiing, and wrestling. A devoted fan of the New York Giants, he was buried in the jersey of his favorite player, Victor Cruz.
Noah Pozner, 6
Tacos were Noah’s favorite food — in fact, his passion was so strong, he wanted to work at a “taco factory” one day, loved ones said in eulogies. He had an endless imagination, told great stories, and loved playgrounds, Legos, and reading.
Caroline Previdi, 6
An optimist through and through, Caroline had a heart as big as her smile. She loved drawing, dancing, and the color pink. She was known for her deep sense of compassion, always comforting others and offering to lend a hand.
Jessica Rekos, 6
There was nothing Jessica loved more than horses — she drew them, wrote stories about them, and read books and watched movies about them. She had recently started taking riding lessons, and was hoping to get cowboy boots and a cowboy hat for Christmas.
Avielle Richman, 6
Avielle, known as “Avie,” loved Harry Potter and the color red. She took horseback riding lessons and would wear pink cowboy boots and "giggle when she trotted.” Avielle had been excited to lose her first tooth and was hoping for an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas.
Lauren Rousseau, 30
First-grade teacher Rousseau and her boyfriend had recently celebrated their one-year anniversary, he told the Hartford Courant, and the two were talking about moving in together and getting a dog. Rousseau was planning to attend a screening of The Hobbit that night to celebrate a close friend’s birthday and had baked cupcakes for the occasion.
Mary Sherlach, 56
A school psychologist, Sherlach worked at Sandy Hook Elementary for 18 years and was about to retire. She had two daughters and a husband of 31 years.
Victoria Leigh Soto, 27
Soto, who taught first grade, had dreamed of being a teacher since she was a child. She loved her students and always tried to make learning fun. She loved the Yankees, flamingos, and her dog, Roxie.
Allison Wyatt, 6
One time on a plane, Allison offered her Goldfish crackers to a stranger. These sorts of random acts of kindness were typical of the young girl. She loved to draw, often giving her artistic creations to the people she loved.
Oct. 21, 2013
Sparks Middle School, Sparks, Nevada
Michael Landsberry, 45
Math teacher Landsberry was a Marine veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan. He enjoyed sports, coaching several teams at the school, as well as Batman, history books, and Star Wars. Most of all, he loved his wife and two stepdaughters.
Dec. 13, 2013
Arapahoe High School, Centennial, Colorado
Claire Davis, 17
Claire was a huge One Direction fan and also loved her horse, Graphite, who is still alive and cared for by her mother. Claire was hospitalized in a coma for eight days before her death. One Direction recorded a video expressing their hopes for her recovery. She died two days later.
June 10, 2014
Reynolds High School, Troutdale, Oregon
Emilio Hoffman, 14
Emilio had three brothers, a sister, and several foster siblings. He played on his school’s soccer team, and family and friends said he could make anyone laugh.
Oct. 24, 2014
Marysville Pilchuck High School, Marysville, Washington
Zoë Galasso, 14
Friendly and athletic, Zoë loved soccer, animals, road trips, and live music. “Zoë had an infectious laugh that drew you in and made you feel joy in your heart,” her mom told BuzzFeed News.
Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14
Shaylee loved sports, especially volleyball. Loved ones said they would miss her sense of humor and beautiful smile, which they would remember through “all her selfies in each of our phones.”
Gia Soriano, 14
Gia loved animals — especially her family’s pet rabbits — and wanted to be a veterinarian one day. Her favorite color was purple. She loved sunshine, jet-skiing, and hanging out with her many friends. “It’s a tragedy that Gia’s life ended so short because she had so much more to offer this world,” her father, Bryan Soriano, told BuzzFeed News.
Andrew Fryberg, 15
Andrew was named after his father, a tradition that began with his great-great-grandfather, his mom, Lahneen Fryberg, told BuzzFeed News. He had six sisters, one brother, and a dog named Hercules. He loved riding his bike and playing football, and went to the prom with Zoë Galasso.
Feb. 12, 2016
Independence High School, Glendale, Arizona
May Kieu, 15
A star student, May also played badminton, played chess, and performed in the school musical. Her sister, Kim Kieu, told BuzzFeed News that May was “the type that befriended everyone, ensuring no one was left behind or felt like an outcast,” describing the teen as deeply empathetic.
June 8, 2016
Jeremiah E. Burke School, Dorchester, Massachusetts
Raekwon Brown, 17
A diligent student, Raekwon, nicknamed “Teddy Bear,” worked hard to boost his math scores and get an A in science, and he achieved both goals. He loved cooking, basketball, music, sneakers, and video games.
Sept. 28, 2016
Townville Elementary School, Townville, South Carolina
Jacob Hall, 6
There was nothing Jacob loved more than superheroes, and he could often be found wearing T-shirts featuring his favorite characters. Many mourners dressed up as superheroes for his funeral, where Jacob was buried in a Batman costume. His grieving mother dressed as Robin.
April 10, 2017
North Park Elementary School, San Bernardino, California
Jonathan Martinez, 8
Jonathan’s parents told BuzzFeed News that the young boy loved pizza, the Mexican sitcom El Chavo del Ocho, and those inflatable tube men outside car dealerships — he would dance around and imitate them whenever he saw them. He was always smiling and wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up.
Karen Smith, 53
Smith was a mother of four and grandmother of three. She was a deeply dedicated teacher, and former students often contacted her to thank her for helping them graduate. Smith was killed along with her young student when her estranged husband, whom she had recently left, opened fire in her classroom before killing himself.
Sept. 13, 2017
Freeman High School, Rockland, Washington
Sam Strahan, 15
Sam loved cooking, with loved ones remembering his homemade fried chicken and mac ’n’ cheese, and he could solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 30 seconds. Sam was autistic and “was so smart he could talk his way out of anything,” his mom said in her eulogy, and he had quite the silly streak, frequently going to the grocery store in his Chewbacca onesie.
Dec. 7, 2017
Aztec High School, Aztec, New Mexico
Francisco Fernandez, 17
Nicknamed “Paco,” Francisco had transferred to the school earlier in the year. He was an avid athlete, playing on the football, basketball, and wrestling teams. He loved to play video games in his spare time. At his funeral, local lowriders, motorcyclists, and classic Cadillacs and Chevrolets escorted his casket.
Casey Jordan Marquez, 17
Casey was the captain of the cheerleading team and coached gymnastics at a local academy. She had been planning to cheer at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens later that month, and wanted to teach cheerleading at schools across the country after graduation.
Jan. 23, 2018
Marshall County High School, Benton, Kentucky
Preston Ryan Cope, 15
A baseball player with a great love for the outdoors, Preston was described by friends as always a positive person. “Every time you saw him he was smiling walking down the hallway,” his teammate Jacob Landis said.
Bailey Nicole Holt, 15
Remembered by her parents as “the most amazing kid anyone could ask for,” Bailey wanted to become a labor and delivery nurse when she grew up. Her aunt Tracy Tubbs described her as “a sweatshirt kind of girl” who wore Converse shoes and loved classic rock, especially AC/DC and Van Halen.
Feb. 14, 2018
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida
Alyssa Miriam Alhadeff, 14
Born in Queens, New York, Alyssa was spunky and headstrong, an outgoing and ambitious girl who played soccer and couldn’t get off her phone, according to her mother Lori. “Alyssa, I love you so much! I miss your smile and your laugh!” Alhadeff told BuzzFeed News.
Martin Duque-Anguiano Jr., 14
Hoping to become a Navy SEAL one day, Martin was a member of the junior ROTC, where he received several ribbons for his achievements. He loved playing soccer with his four brothers and supported FC Barcelona, was an avid Star Wars fan, and prayed daily.
Scott Beigel, 35
Geography teacher Beigel didn’t know much about distance running when he became the cross-country coach, but students remembered him as a great one anyway. “It made the meets all the more entertaining because he was able to have such a unique perspective on the sport,” student Nick Boyer said.
Nicholas Paul Dworet, 17
The swim team captain who had committed to the University of Indianapolis, Nicholas was remembered by his family as easygoing and lovable. He was a foodie and Supreme fanatic, his swim teammate Justin Irwin said, revealing Nicholas had a secret stash of limited-edition Oreos.
Aaron Feis, 37
Football coach Feis was born in New York but grew up in Parkland and graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas himself. A colleague remembered him as a devoted father to his daughter Arielle.
Jaime Taylor Guttenberg, 14
Jaime loved to dance, rehearsing 13 hours per week. “Jaime was a beautiful dancer, a dog lover, and someone who dedicated her time to working with kids of differing abilities,” her father, Fred Guttenberg, told BuzzFeed News. Her friends said she “always had a smile on her face” and loved anything with cheese — Cheez-Its, parmesan on pasta, even eating grated cheese straight off a plate.
Chris Hixon, 49
Head athletic director and wrestling coach Chris Hixon taught at Marjory Stoneman Douglas for four years. He was remembered by his students as deeply caring, treating his students like his own children and bringing food to tournaments. He met his wife, Debbi Hixon, at a wedding when he was 20 years old and serving in the Navy, and the two hit it off right away.
Luke Thomas Hoyer, 15
Known to his family as “Lukey Bear,” Luke was born in Colorado and was remembered by loved ones as the kind of quiet friend whose short contributions were always hilarious. He was passionate about basketball, and he played in the Parkland youth basketball league.
Cara Marie Loughran, 14
Almost 15 years old, Cara was an honor roll student with a keen interest in English and history. She would often be at the beach all year, swimming and surfing after school. Cara was a major Disney and Marvel fan, and she loved Italian food, Irish dancing, DIY projects, and gymnastics.
Gina Rose Montalto, 14
Gina’s mother, Jennifer Montalto, said this was her favorite picture of her daughter celebrating with her color guard team. “It was right after they had won the state competition; in the gym they held a big rally, and the band was playing,” Montalto told BuzzFeed News through tears. “She was so happy. It just really captures who she was.” Gina was an active member of her church and Girl Scouts, and was excited to visit Paris for a potential family trip.
Joaquin Oliver, 17
Oliver was a writer, penning love poems for his girlfriend and short stories for class. He also loved basketball and was buried in NBA star Dwyane Wade’s jersey. “I'm a mom that must make a call for action to other moms that could become me at any moment if we don't fight this gun epidemic,” his mother, Patricia Padauy-Oliver, told BuzzFeed News.
Alaina Joann Petty, 14
A member of the junior ROTC whose family said she “loved to serve,” first-year student Alaina helped rebuild areas affected by Hurricane Irma in 2017. She loved blasting bachata music, watching crime shows, and eating ramen.
Meadow Jade Pollack, 18
Nicknamed “Meadie” and “Shmead,” Meadow was the youngest of 10 cousins and “the baby of the family,” according to her cousin Jake Maisner. Meadow was outgoing and exuberant, painting her parking spot bright pink with white letters spelling out “Prince$$ Meadow.” She loved rap music, going to the gym, and her two cats.
Helena Freja Ramsay, 17
Having moved to Florida from England, Helena held a passion for the cosmopolitan. Her friend Samantha Grady, who was injured in the shooting, recalled a cruise they signed up for together, traveling to Jamaica, Haiti, and Mexico. On a school trip to Europe, Helena went off with friends to London, Paris, and Barcelona. She loved K-pop and K-dramas, particularly the bands BTS and GOT7.
Alex Logan Schachter, 14
Passionate about music, Alex spent his first year of high school playing trombone in the school marching band. He often wore a University of Connecticut hoodie; it was the alma mater of his mother, who died when he was 5. He loved cars, video games, and Naruto.
Carmen Marie Schentrup, 16
At just 16 years old, Carmen was already accepted to the University of Florida and the University of Washington. She wanted to pursue medical sciences and find the cure for ALS. She taught herself German, finished two grades in one academic year, and played three instruments — piano, violin, and guitar.
Peter Wang, 15
Peter loved watching anime and playing video games, and shared his hobbies with his two younger brothers. “He was kind, he was generous, he was smart,” his younger brother Jason said. Wang was in junior ROTC and hoped to become a pilot at West Point.
March 7, 2018
Huffman High School, Birmingham, Alabama
Courtlin La’shawn Arrington, 17
Courtlin loved all things fashion and beauty, and insisted on matching her purses to her outfits. She had already been admitted to several colleges for nursing, and even earned her nursing assistant certification before leaving high school.
March 20, 2018
Great Mills High School, Great Mills, Maryland
Jaelynn Willey, 16
Jaelynn was a member of the swim team and had just set a club record in the 100-meter butterfly, according to her obituary. Willey’s family said she was someone who loved swimming at the beach and playing in the snow, taking walks with her family, spending time with her siblings, and baking excellent chocolate chip cookies.
May 18, 2018
Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Texas
Jared Conard Black, 17
Jared had just turned 17 and would have had his birthday party the day after he was killed. His parents had gotten an above-ground swimming pool for the occasion. Jared loved the outdoors and often visited his uncle in Oregon to go camping. He was remembered by his friends for his love of anime, wolves, sci-fi, and wrestling.
Christian Riley Garcia, 15
Christian was an active member of his local church and hoped to enlist in the military after graduation. He was an avid Captain America fan and had a fondness for cake and board games. At his funeral, some of his most prized possessions were displayed around him: a mounted deer, a football, and his own number 65 Santa Fe football jersey.
Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15
Preferring to be called by his middle name, Kyle had a fondness for biology and history. “Kyle was only 15 when he died, but he was so much better than anyone you’ve ever met. He could always make you laugh when you were down and he always put aside his own feelings to help out those he loved!” his mother, Gail Zumwalt, told BuzzFeed News.
Angelique Niccole Ramirez, 15
Angelique’s mother, Robin Treat, told BuzzFeed News that her daughter was a “loving, caring, and protective daughter and sister to her family. She loved caring for others, making them laugh, and feel important. She was a devoted friend who was kind to everyone she met, and is missed beyond measure.” Her childhood friend Hailey Wittwer told BuzzFeed News she remembered Angelique as her “cool friend,” the one who got a lip piercing and dyed her hair green, then pink. Angelique loved music, art, and anime.
Sabika Sheikh, 18
A foreign exchange student from Pakistan, Sabika had a fondness for pop culture — both Pakistani and American music shows, as well as novels and Y2K-era rom-coms. She was a straight-A student and volunteered at the public library during her Texas exchange, which also inspired a new love for cheese pizza and enchiladas.
Christopher Jake Stone, 17
Chris’s sister Mercedez Stone said the football player loved any kind of adventure — zip-lining, mountain hiking, jet-skiing. He had gone hunting over Thanksgiving break and nailed his first deer. “He was always there if someone needed someone to listen or some cheering up,” Mercedez told BuzzFeed News. “There is nothing he wouldn’t do for the next person,” his mother, Rosie Stone, added via text. “He is missed so much by his family and friends. It’s a heartbreak no one should have to live with.”
Cynthia Marie Tisdale, 63
Originally from Louisiana, substitute teacher Tisdale was a devout Christian and had been married to her husband for 47 years. “Cynthia was a sweet soul that loved her kids and especially her grandkids more than anything,” her daughter-in-law told BuzzFeed News. “She would do anything for anyone without thinking twice about it.”
Kimberly Jessica Vaughan, 14
If Kimberly were in a Harry Potter house, her friends said, she would have been a Ravenclaw. A massive fan of the series, Kimberly was a member of the Harry Potter Fan Club and loved going to the library, according to her obituary. She was a first-year student and active in the Girl Scouts.
Sept. 5, 2018
Providence Career and Technical Academy, Providence, Rhode Island
William Parsons Jr., 15
Known to his family as Eddy, William was remembered at his funeral as the type of son who picked his little sister up from school every day and took out the garbage without being asked. He waited for his mom at the bus stop when she worked the night shift. He was a big sports fan, playing basketball and devotedly supporting the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys.
Sept. 11, 2018
Canyon Springs High School, Las Vegas, Nevada
Dalvin Brown, 18
Dalvin’s friends remembered him as a football and basketball fanatic, who had dreams of playing for the NBA after college. At his vigil, his friends released blue balloons, his favorite color, and shouted his catchphrase — “don’t panic.”
Oct. 29, 2018
Butler High School, Matthews, North Carolina
Bobby McKeithen III, 16
Bobby’s parents said they wanted their son to be remembered as a sweet and compassionate young man. He loved sports and dancing.
May 7, 2019
STEM School Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Kendrick Ray Castillo, 18
Kendrick had a passion for technology and was already working toward his dream of working at NASA. He had several tech internships under his belt, in addition to many awards from his four-year tenure on the school robotics team.
Nov. 19, 2019
Saugus High School, Santa Clarita, California
Dominic Blackwell, 14
Dominic loved Reese’s Cups and was a huge SpongeBob fan. The oldest of four boys, he was a devoted big brother who loved his family deeply. He had just started high school and was in the junior ROTC program.
Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15
An outgoing girl who was always down for a Starbucks run, Gracie loved fashion, makeup, and vlogging about her day. She had just purchased tickets to what would have been her first high school dance.
Jan. 14, 2020
Bellaire High School, Bellaire, Texas
Cesar Cortes, 19
A cadet in Bellaire High School’s junior ROTC program, Cesar had planned on joining the Army following graduation. Friends described him as quiet but someone who had no problem speaking up for what he believed in. A fellow junior ROTC member summoned Cesar to check out a gun he’d brought on campus. Prosecutors claimed the gun accidentally discharged, striking Cesar in the chest.
March 1, 2021
Watson Chapel Junior High School, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Daylon Burnett, 15
Daylon, called DaeDae by friends and family, always had a joke at the ready. Tall with strong, wide shoulders, he excelled at football and the physical fitness challenges he undertook as a cadet in West Chapel Junior High’s junior ROTC program. On the first day back on campus following COVID-19 shutdowns, Daylon was walking through a hallway on his way to his next class when a friend with whom he’d had an argument shot him.
April 12, 2021
Austin-East Magnet High School, Knoxville, Tennessee
Anthony Thompson Jr., 17
Ant, as friends and family nicknamed him, hated vegetables but loved his mother’s bacon and eggs. He played basketball and was rarely spotted without a ball in his hands. He had dreams of being a rapper but plans of becoming a physical therapist. Seventeen minutes before the school day ended, four police officers found him in a bathroom stall. He yelled, “Wait, wait, wait,” as officers wrangled with him. He had a gun in the front pouch of his jacket because he was afraid after four of his classmates had been shot in recent weeks. That gun discharged during the tussle. An officer fired, striking Ant through the lungs and heart. The encounter lasted 11 seconds.
April 29, 2021
Urban Dove Team Charter School, Brooklyn, New York
Devonte Lewis, 17
Devonte dreamed of moving to Florida after graduation. He had started working in maintenance at the New York City Housing Authority. He loved basketball, but not as much as being a big brother to his two younger sisters and two younger brothers. Devonte had completed his first day of in-person learning at Urban Dove — a charter school designed for students who had previously struggled at traditional schools — when two teens riding in a black BMW opened fire as he was leaving school.
Aug. 13, 2021
Washington Middle School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bennie Hargrove, 13
The eighth-grader dreamed of being a basketball player, but his grandmother saw another career path for him: law. Bennie liked to argue about anything and everything with his loved ones and challenge what he thought was wrong. That extended to the bullying of his friends by a fellow classmate. When Bennie approached the classmate and asked him to stop bullying, the boy pulled out a gun he’d hidden behind his leg.
Sept. 1, 2021
Mount Tabor High School, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr., 15
Known as Buddy to friends and family, William relished his role as big brother to his younger siblings. Another student, with whom Buddy had a simmering feud, opened fire during the school day.
Nov. 30, 2021
Oxford High School, Oxford, Michigan
Madisyn Baldwin, 17
Madisyn had a 4.3 GPA and full scholarship offers from colleges. She loved art and books. A 15-year-old student at Oxford High School used a gun he had received days earlier as an early Christmas present to kill Madisyn and three other students.
Tate Myre, 16
A coach at Oxford High described Tate as the school’s fastest, most athletic student. He earned accolades as a wrestler despite moving up a weight class to benefit his team. On the football field, he helped his team by moving from running back to tight end. College football coaches were trying to recruit him at the time of his death.
Hana St. Juliana, 14
Hana loved Christmas so much that she’d made a 10-hour playlist of holiday music. She spoke Japanese at school with her sister so no one could eavesdrop on their conversations and had already picked out her lacrosse jersey number — 12 — for the following season. She had planned to make her debut with the Oxford High basketball team just hours after the shooter opened fire.
Justin Shilling, 17
A bowler, golfer, and baseball player, Justin had plans of studying business at Oakland University following graduation. He loved watching reruns of The Office and listening to Frank Sinatra or Tupac. He dreamed of someday owning a Mustang GT.
Jan. 19, 2022
Oliver Citywide Academy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Marquis Campbell, 15
Marquis took pride in being the best dresser in his class. He delighted in art projects and excelled at math, often finishing his assignments quickly so he could help other students. He attended a school for students with learning disabilities as well as behavioral and emotional challenges. Marquis’s mother had reportedly expressed concerns about his safety before two masked men walked up to the school van where Marquis was waiting for his ride home and shot him.
Jan. 26, 2022
Bartram High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Christopher Braxton, 17
Christopher loved riding bikes and fixing them. He was known as a loyal friend and a good student interested in engineering. He was walking home from school when he was shot. The school bestowed his diploma posthumously.
Feb. 1, 2022
South Education Center, Richfield, Minnesota
Jahmari Rice, 15
Mar, as his friends called him, played football and looked for every opportunity to sneak in extra practice. He also snuck late-night snacks into his room, though empty bags of potato chips gave him away the next morning. He’d just transferred to the school days before two other students fatally shot him in the parking lot during a lunch break.
March 15, 2022
Eisenhower High School, Yakima, Washington
Shawn Tolbert, 16
Shawn expressed interest in becoming a welder or working in auto body repair, or joining the military or a police department. He found joy playing online video games and on family camping trips. Tolbert’s 15-year-old cousin fired a gun at a group of people outside of Eisenhower High School and unintentionally shot Shawn.
March 31, 2022
Tanglewood Middle School, Greenville, South Carolina
Jamari Cortez Bonaparte-Jackson, 12
His friends called him Mari. He loved dogs, video games, and basketball. Teachers noticed that Mari paid extra attention to caring for special education students. A 12-year-old classmate fatally shot him.
May 24, 2022
Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas
Nevaeh Bravo, 10
Nevaeh loved softball and was described by her family as a warm, smiling presence. Her name is “heaven” spelled backward.
Jacklyn Cazares, 9
Jackie dreamed of visiting Paris and becoming a veterinarian. She loved her four dogs, Snapchat, and her grandmother’s beans and barbacoa. In a production of The Wizard of Oz, she played a munchkin.
Makenna Elrod, 10
Makenna’s love for animals led her to join the 4-H Club. She also played softball and enjoyed gymnastics. Her family would often find notes she’d written for them hidden around the house.
José Manuel Flores, 10
Baby José, as his family called him, wanted to be a police officer. He played Little League baseball, navigated his toy trucks around the house, and loved to snack on Takis and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Eliahna “Ellie” Garcia, 9
One of five sisters, Ellie played basketball and had already mastered dancing the cumbía. She loved the color purple and the Disney movie Encanto.
Irma Garcia, 48
The fourth-grade teacher hung college pennants around her classroom to inspire her students to pursue higher education. Away from school, the mom of four barbecued with her husband and made a mean bowl of menudo. Her husband, Joe, died of an apparent heart attack two days after the shooting.
Uziyah Garcia, 10
Aside from being an aspiring YouTuber, Uziyah longed to be a police officer so he could help others. He played basketball, even on his hoverboard. He loved playing Gorilla Tag on Oculus and Fortnite. He would put others before himself and would stand against those who wanted to hurt others, his family said.
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
Amerie loved sunflowers, vanilla Frappuccinos from Starbucks, and working with clay. The Girl Scout and BTS superfan wanted to be an art teacher. In a card to her mother, she wrote, “You console me.” Those words are now tattooed on her mom’s left forearm.
Xavier Lopez, 10
Xavier learned to make his father’s trademark salsa and sold it to friends and family. He’d use his earnings to buy toys for his brothers at Dollar General. He played soccer and baseball. Before bed, Xavier texted his girlfriend, Annabell Rodriguez, “I love you.” They are now buried next to each other.
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10
Each morning, Jayce made his grandparents a pot of coffee. He left handwritten notes for family members, like the one reading, “I love you, Grandpa.”
Tess Marie Mata, 10
Tess found joy in singing along to Ariana Grande songs, performing backbends in gymnastics class, and cheering for her favorite Houston Astros player, José Altuve. On her softball team, she played second base, the same position as Altuve.
Maranda Mathis, 11
Maranda loved mermaids and unicorns, especially if they were purple — her favorite color. She enjoyed spending time outdoors, swimming in a river or collecting rocks along the riverbeds.
Eva Mireles, 44
After a full day of teaching her fourth-graders, Mireles routinely headed to her CrossFit gym. She called her 23-year-old daughter nearly every day at 4:30 p.m. She enjoyed hiking, running, and spoiling her dog, Kane.
Alithia Ramirez, 10
When Alithia heard of a Google Doodle competition for students, the aspiring artist submitted her drawing of a girl relaxing on a couch with her pets and skeins of yarn. She created characters like Pizza Girl and Super Colorado Girl, and she dreamed of going to art school in Paris. A museum in Paris hosted an exhibition of her work posthumously.
Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
Annabell wanted to be a veterinarian. She loved butterflies, the color baby blue, and her twin sister, Angeli. She developed a crush on classmate Xavier Lopez. They texted each other every night: “I love you.” They are buried next to each other.
Maite Rodriguez, 10
The straight-A student had her sights set on studying marine biology at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. She learned how to sew via YouTube tutorials and had recently picked up photography as a hobby. On what would be her last Halloween, she dressed as a dinosaur.
Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio, 10
Lexi had won the school’s good citizen award minutes before her death. The straight-A student practiced basketball and softball with her father. She dreamed of earning a softball scholarship to St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where she wanted to study math. Then it would be law school, not because she wanted to argue, but because she wanted to help.
Layla Salazar, 11
Layla and her father regularly jammed out to Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine” on their way to school. She excelled at sports, winning first place in six races at a field day shortly before her death.
Jailah Silguero, 10
Jailah moped when her basketball season ended last season. She couldn’t wait to join this year’s team. The bespectacled girl enjoyed riding her bike and zooming around on her skateboard. She also liked playing with her cousins, including Jayce Luevanos, whose coffin sat next to hers at their joint wake.
Eliahna Torres, 10
The softball player wanted to cut down on her strikeouts. Her grandfather hung a ball outside their home, and she worked on her swing until bedtime. She wanted to make the all-star team, and she made sure her grandfather had a cold glass of water awaiting him when he returned from work.
Rojelio Torres, 10
Rojelio relished playing football, Pokémon, and video games. His family and teachers called him a willing helper with chores.
Sept. 2, 2022
Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School, Baltimore, Maryland
Jeremiah Brogden, 17
Jeremiah’s football coaches called him “Night Train” for the speed at which the running back could cut downfield. He loved eating hot wings and Alfredo and made sure to keep his Nike Air Force 1s spotless. Jeremiah dreamed of playing in the NFL. He was shot in the school parking lot just hours before his team’s first home game. He was buried in his No. 30 jersey.
Oct. 24, 2022
Central Visual and Performing Arts School, St. Louis, Missouri
Alexzandria Bell, 15
Classmates described Alexzandria as always smiling, and she loved to dance. She majored in dance and performed as part of a local dance troupe called the Dazzling Diamonds.
Jean Kuczka, 61
The mother of five and grandmother of seven taught health classes and coached cross-country. She participated in bike rides to raise money to fund juvenile diabetes research. As an undergrad, she won a national championship as a member of the Missouri State University field hockey team. Witnesses said Kuczka died protecting her students. ●
Illustrations by Jen Hill for BuzzFeed News