A 16-year-old “gentle giant” died suddenly Friday (September 20) night while playing tag with family.
Deshaud “Dee” Williams was a defensive tackle on Lewisville High School’s junior varsity football team in Texas.
According to his mother, Razel Sheppard, he was deemed in good health after a recent school physical. So, his sudden death is “a big mystery,” Sheppard told NBC Dallas-Forth Worth.
Williams, his twin brother, Dashaud, and other family members and friends were running around a parking lot playing when Deshaud complained of losing his breath.
“We started jogging a little bit more and he was like, ‘Da, I can’t breathe,’” Dashaud told NBC.
“I was like, ‘You good? Come on, we’re going to get home,’” Dashaud continued, adding how his brother continued to say, “I can’t breathe. I’m about to pass out.”
Dashaud ran to his twin brother just as he fell to his knees and fell on his side, he told NBC.
Police and emergency responders arrived minutes after Dashaud called. But Deshaud didn’t make it to the hospital. Instead, he took his last breath in his twin brother’s arms before arriving at the emergency room, according to the family’s GoFundMe account page.
“An autopsy is being performed to establish Dee’s precise cause of death, but he’s suspected to have suffered cardiac arrest,” according to the statement on GoFundMe.
Dee was an honor roll student, who loved to play football. He worked part-time at Domino’s to earn extra money for a car, according to the family’s GoFundMe page.
“Dee left this world before his mother, two brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles got a chance to say goodbye,” the GoFundMe page included. “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 who loved playing football and Fortnite.”
Lewisville Police took to Facebook Saturday (September 21) to clear up a rumor that Dee had been shot.
“We want to address a rumor which incorrectly reports a teenager was shot in our city last night (Friday night). We have no reports of anyone being shot in our city on September 20, 2019. The misinformation may have stemmed from an incident near Summit and Valley Ridge around 10 PM regarding an unresponsive person,” the statement read.
“A teenager was transported from that location to a hospital and pronounced deceased. The medical examiner will determine the official cause of death,” the statement included.
The statement went on to specify, “However, at 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. If the medical examiner's findings point to anything criminal, we will continue our investigation accordingly.”
The Lewisville football team, which Dee was a member of, posted a mournful message on Twitter, “Today our hearts are broken. Please keep the Fighting Farmer community in your prayers as we mourn the loss of a student athlete.”
So far, the family has been able to raise nearly $10,000, twice the amount of their GoFundMe goal.
As they make final arrangements, they ask for any support in helping transport Dee’s body back to Cleveland, OH, where he’s originally from.
“He was an industrious, reliable, sweet, kind and caring young man with a bright future,” the family’s statement read. “He would give you the clothes off his back if that meant for someone else in need.”
(Photo: DeShaud Williams GoFundMe)