The lives they lived
LaVonte’e Williams couldn’t read yet, but he loved the Bible. His grandfather even called him Preacher. In August, a day after his baptism, he accidentally shot himself at a park and died at just 5 years old.
Juan Carlos Robles-Corona Jr. had mastered viral TikTok dances. He would perform them at an Auntie Anne’s, where he and his mother worked. In April, he was shot to death near his school in an unsolved killing. He was 15 years old.
Angellyh Yambo prided herself on befriending people considered “annoying or strange.” She drew elaborate sketches on her iPad and liked watching horror movies. In April, a few months after her Sweet 16 birthday, she was killed by a stray bullet while walking outside after school.
LaVonte’e, Juan Carlos and Angellyh were just three of the thousands of children killed or injured by gun violence this year in the U.S. The New York Times Magazine devoted its upcoming issue, published online today, to their stories and those of nine others for its annual The Lives They Lived feature.
The stories are devastating, and I hope you’ll take some time to read them today. They are also representative of a uniquely American problem.