Molly Lillard, 28, a volleyball standout and daughter of former NFL superstar Al Toon, was allegedly killed by her husband Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide.
Police arrived at the Arizona home of Lillard and her husband, Royce Dale Lillard III, 36, around 5 p.m. on Sunday to find Lillard suffering from multiple gunshot wounds outside the house. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was soon pronounced dead, according to a press release issued by the Scottsdale Police Department.
Meanwhile, Royce Lillard had barricaded himself inside the house. Authorities tried to communicate with him for the next five hours, finally entering the home around 10:45 p.m. They found him dead inside, from what they believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the release.
The couple’s 8-month-old child was present at the time of the shooting but was uninjured, according to the release. The child is currently being cared for by relatives. The Lillards had been married for a little more than two years, the Arizona Republic reports.
Molly Lillard was a standout college volleyball player at the University of Michigan where she led the Wolverines to the NCAA volleyball tournament four times, finishing as a championship runner-up in 2012, according to Yahoo! Sports.
“On the court, ferocious. ‘Give me the ball.’ Off the court, one of the sweetest kids. That's pretty much their whole family. They're so caring and giving,” Franco Marcos, her high school coach, told WMTV.
Lillard’s father, Al Toon, was a star receiver for the Jets between 1985 and 1992. Though his career was cut short by injuries, he was legendary on the field – one of just two players in NFL history to earn more than 500 receptions in less than 110 games, according to Elite Sports New York.
“To lose a life like this is devastating. To have it happen to a family as prominent as this is just awful,” Tim Simon, a family friend and former employer of Al Toon, told local newspaper the Middleton Times-Tribune.
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