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'All-star athlete,' North High student identified as victim of gun violence

The Minneapolis high school confirmed 15-year-old Deshaun Hill died after being shot Wednesday afternoon.

MINNEAPOLIS — A 15-year-old boy who died after being shot in Minneapolis Wednesday was identified by officials as North High School sophomore Deshaun Hill.

Said to be well-known and beloved as a standout Minneapolis Public Schools student athlete, tributes began pouring in on social media from his coaches and community.

Larry McKenzie, head coach of the North boys basketball team, wrote on Twitter "the pain of watching my kids in tears over the loss of a teammate and friend is so difficult.  A man of many words all of a sudden is speechless and doesn't know what to say."

Hill passed away Thursday afternoon after being rushed to the hospital in critical condition on Feb. 9 following a shooting on Penn Ave. N and Golden Valley Road in north Minneapolis.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office has listed the official cause of death as a gunshot to the head.

KARE 11's Kent Erdahl spoke with Deshaun's mother Friday. "I want justice for my son," she said simply. 

A GoFundMe page created to support Deshaun's family has surpassed its initial $12,000 goal and raised more than $30,000 as of Friday afternoon.

The page says Deshaun was an all-star athlete, but football was "the apple of his eye."

Credit: Laurice Walker
Deshaun Hill

"This is not the story of a kid getting caught up in the streets, quite the contrary," wrote Laurice Walker, who organized the fundraiser. "Deshaun is an honor roll student, what many have described as a 'perfect' kid. He is the heart of the North community, a representation of what could be, what should be."

Trent Witz, director of basketball operations at North, shared several photos of Deshaun and his team on Twitter, and called gun violence "the real pandemic."

Friday, North High School will host a vigil for students and their families at 3 p.m., however this event is not open to the public.

Deshaun will be honored at the Polars basketball game against Hopkins at 1 p.m. Saturday. 

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