A deaf California teen with a bright future ahead of him was senselessly shot dead last week in what family members believe was a case of mistaken identity.
DeSean Welch, 18, was with deaf friends watching a high school football game in Moreno Valley Friday when they were reportedly approached by a man who began asking them questions.
Welch's sister, Najai Welch, told the LA Times that her brother's friend tried explaining to the man that they were deaf.
"We are deaf. We can’t hear you. We don’t understand what you are saying to us," the friend reportedly wrote in a text message.
When the friends, along with DeSean, drove away, Najai Welch said they were followed.
Just before 10 p.m., Moreno Valley Police Department were dispatched to a shots fired call in the area of Rancho Verde High School.
Deputies arrived and located evidence of a shooting at the intersection but no victims. At approximately the same time, other officers nearby were flagged down by a vehicle transporting a victim of the original shooting scene, according to a Riverside County Sheriff's Office press release.
The shooting victim, Welch, of Victorville, was transported to Riverside University Health System and despite medical intervention, succumbed to his injuries.
"My twin my everything my hart my hitta my Bby why had had to go why take him away from me god I ask u why he had to go," Najai Welch wrote in a Snapchat photo with her and DeSean that she shared to Facebook.
Another relative, Daytoryi Love, created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover expenses for Welch's funeral.
"He was a good kid sad to say he didn't mean any harm all he wanted to do was play basketball he's a disabled kid might I add that he is a deaf child that can not tlk my family is takin this really hard so if you guys could please just help us donate anything will help," Daytoryi wrote on the fundraising page.
A suspect has not been identified in the shooting. Police believe are in search of an African American male adult approximately 20 years old with a medium build. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Investigator Dan Moody of the Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit at (760) 393-3525.