09/22/2016 01:10 EDT

Deaf Teen Shot In California After Telling Gunman He Couldn't Hear Him

Desean Welch was killed after watching a football game with his friends.

The family of a deaf teen says he was fatally shot after he told his killer in a text that he couldn't hear him.

DeSean Welch died Friday in Moreno Valley, Calif. after a man shot at the car carrying him and his friends, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The group was watching a football game, according to the newspaper, when a man approached them and started asking questions.

Welch's friend, Lamar Francis, told him that they were all deaf and couldn't hear what he was saying, he told ABC 7.

18-year-old Desean Welch was shot and killed Friday in what his family believes is a case of mistaken identity. (Photo: GoFundMe)

Welch then pulled out his phone to try to text with the man, telling him they played sports, were deaf, and not involved with anything illegal.

The man wanted to know if Welch knew anyone in Ontario.

The group then left in their minivan, according to the L.A. Times, but the gunman opened fire on the car, killing Welch.

Teen was popular basketball player at his school

The 18-year-old was a popular student and star basketball player at California School for the Deaf in Riverside, the Press Enterprise reports.

His sister Najai Welch told ABC 7 he was innocent.

"I just want justice for him because he didn't deserve this," she said.

His family said he wanted to play professionally one day.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department describes the suspect as a black male who is around 20 years old with a medium build. He is still at large, according to the Press Enterprise.

"I just want justice for him because he didn't deserve this." — Sister Najai Welch

The teen's cousin has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the teen's family.

"He was a good kid, sad to say," cousin Daytoryi Love wrote.

"He didn't mean any harm. All he wanted to do was play basketball."

You can see more in the video above.

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