17-year old Desiree Davis had spent her childhood excluded and taunted for never quite fitting in. “They gave her a real hard time her whole life,” said her mother, Dru Ann Davis, in an interview at her home this weekend. A Hurricane Katrina survivor, born blind in one eye, Desiree was working to find new strength and identity in Oakland before she was killed last week in a drive-by shooting. Story by S. Howard Bransford/Oakland North.

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Desiree Davis, the 17 year-old Oakland Tech student killed in a drive-by shooting Monday, had been trapped with her family in Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters before they sought safety and a new life in California. Her uncle says they tried Santa Cruz for a while, but that Oakland had felt to them more like home.

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