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Tawanna Rankin talks about her daughter, Jada Rankin, who was shot and killed by an angry driver on Oct. 16, 2016, outside her grandmother’s home in Detroit. Jada’s killer is still unknown, and Tawanna doesn’t want her daughter’s story to die.
Elaine Cromie/Special to the Detroit Free Press

Six months after she died, Jada Rankin’s family held her sweet 16 party at the skating rink she loved.

Her friend wore custom skates emblazoned with pictures of Jada to honor the Sterling Heights teen who was fatally shot outside her grandmother’s house in Detroit Oct. 16. 

She was killed after a driver opened fire when Jada’s brother asked him to slow down through their neighborhood on Ardmore on the city’s west side, her family said. A bullet hit Jada’s torso.

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The 15-year-old’s death is among eight fatal shootings in Detroit in 2016 involving children under age 17, according to homicide statistics from the Detroit Police Department. Despite a decline in some serious crimes, the city remains one of the most violent large cities in America, where too often split-second decisions made by people with guns lead to the deaths of children caught in the middle.

In both 2014 and 2015, six children died from gunfire in the city, according to statistics provided by police. The victims during that two-year period include two 3-year-olds, a…