Yesterday was the first anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings, in which 17 teenagers and staff were shot and killed at a local high school. The tragedy precipitated a nationwide campaign by student survivors in favor of gun control.
The Trace, a nonprofit news site devoted to covering gun violence in the United States, tracked the country’s child shootings this past year. With the help of student reporters — and the Miami Herald and McClatchy newspapers — The Trace profiled almost 1,200 children who were shot and killed since Parkland. Trace editors say this does not represent all childhood deaths by gunfire, only those they could identify.
New Jersey’s 13 children on the list range from 9-year-old Jennifer Trejo-Gomez of Bridgeton, who was killed by a bullet that penetrated her rear bedroom wall to several 16- to 18-year-olds, a few of them bound for college. Ten-year-old Yovanni Daniel Banos-Merino was home with his mother when a gunman began spraying bullets near his home in Asbury Park. He died of a single gunshot wound.
The 13 New Jersey deaths are 13 too many, but it is notable that the number is far lower than for some states with lower populations. Virginia has profiles of 36 children. Tennessee, with more than two million fewer people than New Jersey, has 50 children listed. New Jersey has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.
Here’s a full list of the New Jersey children who were shot and killed.