“We started jogging a little bit more and he was like, ‘Da, I can’t breathe,’” Dashaud Williams told NBC’s Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate. “I was like, ‘You good? Come on, we’re going to get home.’ And he was like, ‘I can’t breathe. I’m about to pass out.’ And I ran to him and he fell to his knees and fell on his back.”
After onlookers performed CPR and his brother called 911, Deshaud, “known as Dee,” died in his brother’s arms on the way to the hospital. The Lewisville Police Department said an autopsy would be performed and, on Facebook, corrected a report over the weekend that a teenager had been shot in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb. “[A]t this time we are not treating this as a criminal investigation. There were no obvious signs of foul play, we are not searching for any suspects and we do not have reason to pursue charges,” the police said in a statement. “If the medical examiner’s findings point to anything criminal, we will continue our investigation accordingly.”
Deshaud’s mother, Razel Sheppard, called her son’s death “a big mystery” in her post on the family’s GoFundMe page. His relatives suspect “cardiac arrest” although he had passed a physical for school recently. “He’s never been sick,” she told NBC. “He was a healthy all-around kid."
On the GoFundMe page, she wrote that he had been working at Domino’s while saving money to buy a car.
“Dee left this world before his mother, two brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles got a chance to say goodbye,” his mother wrote. “To them, he was more than just an honor roll student who dreamed of being a chef one day. He was a gentle giant, a soft-spoken brother, son, and grandson whose loved playing football and Fortnite. … He was an industrious, reliable, sweet, kind and caring young man with a bright future. He would give you the clothes off his back … for someone else in need.”
The family created the GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses. Originally from Cleveland, Williams’s funeral will be held there.
Over the weekend, his brother and mother were among those who addressed an impromptu memorial at a Lewisville park.
“He would motivate you. When he was tired, we would pick him up,” Darren Johnson, a friend of Deshaud’s, told the NBC affiliate. “When we were tired, he would pick us up. There was no better friend you could have. He’ll always be in our hearts.”
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