BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Twelve students who died from gun violence over this past school year were honored during the Baltimore City Public Schools’ 5th annual Day of Remembrance.

The ceremony was held Thursday morning on the steps of the school district’s headquarters on North Avenue.

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BCPS CEO Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises led the commemoration with a reading of each student’s name who died followed by a moment of silence.

Each student’s name was also written across the top of a balloon structure.

The youngest victim was Maliyah Turner, a 13-year-old who was killed in November 2021, her mother Michelle Smith said.

The teen was shot and killed outside of Lillian Jones Recreation Center in Sandtown. She was there for band practice. No one has been arrested in this case so far, Smith said.

“Maliyah was my everything and for her to been snatched away from me like that it’s heartbreaking,” Smith said.

Dr. Santelises said the heartbreak comes with tears and prayers, which fuels the feeling of determination to do something different moving forward.

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“We must work to find an integrated solution to the cycle of the slaughter of our children,” Santelises said.

Mayor Brandon Scott was not at the ceremony, but he sent Deputy Mayor Faith Leach to speak on his behalf.

“These deaths are overwhelming but all of them… all of them are preventable and as a city, we must do better,” Leach said.

The Baltimore Police Department releases year-to-date homicide and non-fatal shooting rates daily.

On Thursday, data shows there have been 130 homicides so far this year compared to 127 in the same timeframe last year.

Non-fatal shootings have also gone up. This year, police have investigated 275 incidents, while this time in 2021 there had been 254.

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These are the students killed during the 2021-2022 school year in Baltimore City:

  • Ja’nyi Weedon, 15 – Carver Vocational Technical High School
  • Jhosy Portillo, 15 – Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School
  • Montrell Graham, 17 – Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts
  • Delmonte Kiels, 16 – Edmondson Westside High School
  • Maliyah Turner, 13 – Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy
  • JaJaun Robinson Jr, 17 – Edmondson Westside High School
  • Jarrelle Gomez, 15 – Digital Harbor High School
  • Tavon King, 17 – Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West
  • Damon Canada, 16 – Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West
  • Keye’Shawn Wilson, 17 – Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School
  • Braylon Gannon, 15 – Carver Vocational Technical High School
  • Jasmine Brunson Jr, 17 – Carver Vocational Technical High School

Cristina Mendez