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'I forgive you and your mama too' | Family of slain 15-year-old plead for peace, end to gun violence

At a candlelight vigil, Dezay Richardson, 15, is remembered for his dancing, humor, neatness and potential.
Credit: Family of Dezay Richardson
A photo of 15-year-old Dezay Richardson

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Through the unbearable grief of a mother who must bury her child, Ulanda Jordan said she wants peace for her family and the shooter who killed her son, Dezay "Zay" Richardson, 15.

"I forgive you and your mama too," she said. Jordan refuses to see her son's passing as a loss.

"He leveled up. He gained wings," she added. 

During a candle light vigil near the intersection of Harrison St. and Renick Way in North Highlands Sacramento on Sunday night, family and friends gathered to remember Richardson, who lives behind his immediate siblings; a fraternal twin brother, two sisters and an older brother. He's remembered as a dancer, a comic, a football player, a neat-freak, and a straight-A student. 

His father, Sammy Jordan, said his son was gunned down Saturday night as he walked home with a friend after hanging out at the nearby Scandia Fun Center. He and his friend were just minutes from his grandmother's house, he said. 

RELATED: 15-year-old victim identified after shooting in North Highlands Saturday night

"There should be no way a young man in his neighborhood, where he should have felt safe at... gets killed. Murdered. Ambushed," said Berry Accius, a community activist and youth mentor.

The second teen, was taken a local hospital and was listed in critical, but stable condition, according to police. Investigators said the boys were targeted. However, no suspect or motive has been named by police. 

Accius said a pattern of young people resolving their differences with gun violence has left the community ravaged and in perpetual pain.

"You may want to enact revenge, but we all lose in this situation y'all," he said to a crowd of teens and parents at the vigil to pay their respects. 

The teen's killing marks a continuance of a surge of youth homicides in 2020. According local law enforcement, seven young people were shot and killed in the city and county limits of Sacramento. In 2019, zero juveniles were taken by gun violence in the city, and in the county, there were two youth homicides.

RELATED: Sacramento homicides surge by 26% in 2020, ending streak of zero youth deaths

In Richardson's memory, his family is pleading for the gun violence among youth to end. 

In tears, his grandmother, Diana Queen, said, "[This generation, they] come out and they ready to shoot - bang, bang and kill somebody! But love, just learn to love each other." 

His father and cousin said amid financial struggle due to the pandemic, they have turned to GoFundMe to help raise money for the Richardson's burial costs. 


Sacramento homicides up 26% for 2020 from 2019 numbers