In the two years following the devastating mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 14 students and three teachers dead, gun violence has continued to take a toll on young people across the country.
According to an analysis of data provided by Gun Violence Archive, roughly 2,641 kids 18 and younger have been killed with guns since the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018. That figure excludes most suicides, those killed in police-involved shootings, and those who were killed in the course of fatally wounding someone else.
We estimate that we’re missing nearly 2,000 school-age children from GVA’s count of kids killed since Parkland. That’s because the site primarily culls its information from media sources, and the vast majority of these incidents don’t make the news. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which gets its mortality data from death certificates, 1,003 people aged 18 and younger died by gun suicide in 2018, the last year for which data is available.
The majority were victims of community gun violence, domestic violence, drug homicides, unintentional discharges, and stray bullets. Only a fraction of the victims died in school shootings like the one in Florida.
Some of the victims over the course of this last year include:
- Jamonty Clifton, 15, who was gunned down during an argument on the South Side of Chicago on March 28, 2019.
- Alaina Rau, 2; Cassidy Rodery, 6; and Kyrie Rodery, 8, who were killed by their mother in a murder-suicide in Kent County, Michigan, on February 18, 2019.
- Summerbell Brown, 10, who was killed in a road rage shooting in Phoenix on April 3, 2019.
- Chrisaiah Arrington, 3, who died after finding his mother’s gun and shooting himself with it in Jackson, Tennessee, on May 11, 2019.
- La’Meya Mitchell, 13, who was fatally shot by her 16-year-old boyfriend in Savannah, Georgia, on November 15, 2019.
- Shane Kelly, 16, who died in his twin brother’s arms after being shot outside his home in Staten Island, New York, on December 16, 2019.
- Garrett Bakhsh, 18, who was killed along with two others at a nightclub in Hartsville, South Carolina, on January 26, 2020.
Last year, to mark the first anniversary of Parkland, The Trace, in partnership with McClatchy and the Miami Herald, worked with more than 200 teen reporters from across the country to memorialize the children and teens killed in shootings over the course of the intervening 12 months. Since Parkland features nearly 1,200 victim profiles written by teen journalists.
“We wanted to humanize the children and teens beyond the tragedies, beyond the gunshots in their final hours,” the student reporters wrote. “Our goal is to shift the attention away from the numbness that seeps into the discussion around gun violence.”
Despite the teens’ best efforts, more than 100 Since Parkland stories were incomplete, because the media coverage we relied on to seed our reporting was scant. Six months after Since Parkland published, The Trace assembled a team of 10 teen journalists who were able to flesh out the details of 85 of these biographies, most of which were for black and brown teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18.
“Gun violence may not discriminate, but news coverage of its victims sometimes does,” two of the student reporters, Madison Hahamy and Sarah Emily Baum, wrote in November. “Many [young gunshot victims of color] were treated like the subject of a crime blotter, with little to nothing on their personalities, passions, and dreams. When these children and teens were fatally shot, they left behind friends, siblings, partners, and even children of their own.”