Family of deaf basketball player killed after Moreno Valley high school football game demands justice

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (KABC) -- The family of an 18-year-old, who was shot and killed following a football game at a Moreno Valley high school, is demanding justice.

Desean Welch, who is from Victorville, was with a friend at the time he was killed near Rancho Verde High School on Friday. A suspect approached them wanting to know if Welch knew someone in Ontario, and Welch's friend Lamar Francis tried to tell the gunman that they were deaf.

"This boy was talking. I told him that we're deaf. I cannot understand...I cannot read lips," Francis said.

Welch wrote on his phone in order to communicate with the suspect. Hassan Welch said his brother told the suspect they were deaf, they played sports and were not involved in anything illegal.

Francis said he tried to rush his friend to the hospital after the shooting, but ended up crashing on the way there.

Welch was a standout high school basketball player at the California School for the Deaf in Riverside. On Monday, the school provided grief counselors and sent a letter out to parents regarding Welch's death.

The teen's family said he wanted to play professional basketball one day.

"I just want justice for my brother. That's all I want. I just want justice for him because he didn't deserve this," his sister, Najai Welch, said.

Anyone with more information was urged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Unit at (760) 393-3525. The family will be coordinating a memorial and set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.
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