MINNEAPOLIS — Hundreds gathered Saturday in North High's Jacobi Gym for the 'pack the gym' event honoring the life of 15-year-old Deshaun Hill Jr.
"Everybody knew D. Hill, everybody loved him," said Javayaa Puckett, a childhood friend of Hill.
Hill's teammates wore warmup jerseys with his No. 9 on them, and his family was welcomed into the gym with a standing ovation as the crowd chanted "D-Hill."
A family which North High principal Mauri Friestleben says did everything right.
"When I tell you they instilled in him everything that we are told to instill in our children, they did," said Friestleben.
Perhaps no one understands that better than Puckett.
"The last time I talked to him, he texted me the morning of my mom's funeral, and he sent out his condolences and told me that he loved me," said Puckett.
Which she says was of his nature. A caring, gentle soul.
"He didn't play fight, like he didn't like arguing, he was so quiet and his smile was so big," said Puckett. She went on to say, "all he was worried about was where his future was going to go."
A future which was cut short after Hill was gunned down Wednesday, while his parents say he was on his way to catch a bus.
"There is something so deeply wrong about what has happened to our number 9, to our D. Hill that the pain that is within this community right now can never make up for the pain that you five are experiencing," said an emotional Friestleben while addressing the Hill family at Saturday's game. She went on to say, "but at bare minimum we can experience it with you, and we can experience it together, so that you are not alone."
Standing together in support of a family, while calling for an end to these senseless acts of gun violence.
"It all needs to stop," said Puckett.
Police say they've received a couple leads in this case, but no arrests have been made.
Sunday afternoon, the community is hosting a balloon release at Hobbs Field at 1 p.m., followed by a worship service in the North High auditorium at 2 p.m. in honor of Deshaun Hill Jr.
A Go Fund Me account has been setup to assist the Hill family with funeral arrangements.