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UVA Football Players Killed In Mass Shooting Remembered
University of Virginia Cavaliers linebacker D'Sean Perry and wide receivers Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. were all killed on Sunday night during an on-campus shooting. Another student is under arrest in the case.
Thousands of students, faculty, staff and other community members at the University of Virginia gathered on Monday evening to memorialize the three students killed in Sunday night's mass shooting.
The enormous group — organized by student leaders — gathered at 7:00 p.m. last night on the campus' historic South Lawn, according to the Cavalier Daily. Organizers passed out orange ribbons as well as candles, but ran out long before people had finished gathering to pay tribute to Lavel Davis Jr., 20, D'Sean Perry, 22, and Devin Chandler, 21, three football players who were shot to death Sunday night on a bus returning from a field trip to Washington, D.C.
Two other students were injured in the shooting, and one is said to be in critical condition. One of the two injured victims has been identified as running back Mike Hollins, according to the Charlottesville Daily Progress. He was reportedly on a ventilator Monday and scheduled for a second surgery on Tuesday.
The second injured student has not been identified.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, has been arrested in the shooting. He reportedly walked onto the team in 2018, after graduating from high school in Richmond, but wasn't given any playing time, the Daily Progress reported.
Davis, who was listed on the team's roster as a junior, was originally from Dorchester, South Carolina — a town outside of Charleston.
“I lost my baby. This is my firstborn child,” the elder Davis told the network, adding that his son could “light up a room just with a smile."
Jack Hamilton, a professor of American Studies and Media Studies at UVA, shared a series of tweets about the students and wrote that "One thing that struck me about Vel was how much his classmates liked him and vice versa."
ESPN reporter Andrea Adelson described him as "bright, thoughtful and engaging," ABC News reported.
NBC News reported that Davis was expected to graduate in December.
Perry, a junior, was originally from Miami, Florida. Though listed as a linebacker on the roster, the coaches had asked him to be a defensive end in September and he had made two tackles in Saturday's game before joining the field trip to see a play in D.C., the Daily Progress reported.
His parents, Happy and Sean Perry, issued a statement thanking people for their support but declined to comment further, NBC News reported.
"Right now, Happy and Sean will not speak publicly about the incident as their grief is only beginning, and out of respect for the University of Virginia community which has been terrorized by another mass shooting in the United States,” attorney Michael Haggard said.
In the GoFundMe for the family, Perry's friend Matteo Uccelli described him as "a man of faith who loved his friends, family, community, and football deeply," as well as "an avid lover of art and music whose artistic ability was unmatched."
Chandler, who was originally from Huntersville, North Carolina — just north of Charlotte. He played two seasons with the University of Wisconsin before entering the transfer portal in October 2021, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported, and transferred to the University of Virginia this season. He had yet to play on the field for his new team, according to the university.
"He had a lasting impact on his teammates even after he left UW, which is a testament to the type of person he was," interim head coach Jim Leonhard said in a statement to the paper.
"He was an unbelievably nice person, always a huge smile, really gregarious and funny," UVA professor Hamilton tweeted, adding, "It is so sad and enraging that he is gone."