Crime, Law and Justice

Deshaun Hill celebrated by North High community

Hill was killed by gunfire in Minneapolis on Thursday

Tuesday Sheppard
Tuesday Sheppard, the mother of Deshaun Hill Jr., 15, who was tragically shot and killed last week, embraces a boy during a commemoration event in honor of her son on February 12, 2022.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Deshaun Hill’s image looked down on those gathered for the North Community High School basketball game versus Hopkins on Saturday. Known as a star athlete and a stellar student, his presence loomed large on campus. His death following a shooting last week has left many confused. His uncle Deontray Walker said Hill wasn’t known to have a conflict with others.

Walker was among those who gathered for a ceremony before the game honoring Hill. Attended by Hill’s mother, Tuesday Sheppard, as well as his sisters Talina, Todaya, and T’Shanti Hill and other family members, the event included speeches from North High Principal Mauri Friestleben and head basketball coach Larry McKenzie. 

“The pain that is within this community right now can never make up for the pain that you five are experiencing, but at bare minimum, we can experience it with you and we can experience it together so that you are not alone,” said Friestleben.

Hill’s teammates wore specially made warm-up shirts with Hill’s nickname and number printed on them as they listened to the talks from their bench, some covering their faces and holding back tears of grief. The crowd had a moment of silence before the game, after which people shouted out support for Hill’s family, who continue to process the loss of a son, brother, nephew, and grandson. A painting of Hill created by local artist Adam Johnson was also delivered to the family in a pregame ceremony by three of his teammates.

The North Polars ultimately beat Hopkins 76-70, with North players taking turns afterward to sign the game ball before gifting it to Hill’s family. Immediately after the contest, a prayer and moment of silence were held along with a healing circle, which featured family members of multiple residents who have been killed by community and police violence in recent years, including representatives of Amir Locke’s family. 

Other events are being held at the school on Sunday to honor Hill, including a balloon release and worship service.

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