University of Virginia tributes pour in for slain football player: ‘Three young, great men’

The father of a University of Virginia shooting victim raced through the night to see him in hospital – while tributes arrive for the three dead.

Michael Hollins Sr. told The Washington Post that his son, Michael Hollins Jr., was shot in the back during the horrifying attack by suspected gunman Christopher Darnell Jones Jr.

The elder Hollins was at work when he received a call just before midnight that his son had been injured. He got in his car and immediately drove to Charlottesville.

Hollins said his son was in stable condition as of Monday – but still intubated. The bullet went into the stomach of the 21-year-old soccer player.

“Doctors said he’ll recover,” Hollins told WaPo. “They said he was doing exceptionally well given his age and physical condition.”

The three victims – Devin Chandler from Virginia Beach, Lavel “Tyler” Davis from South Carolina and D’Sean Perry from Miami – were also football players, and Jones was a former teammate.

“They were all good kids,” head football coach Tony Elliott said of the victims Monday, adding that he is still processing the terrible loss and will say more “when the time is right.”

From left: Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D'Sean Perry.
From left: Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry.

Her teammate Aaron Faumui tearfully said on Monday: “I don’t even know what to say right now. I just want to say that they were three young great men.”

Other players flooded social media with tributes.

“Words can’t describe how I feel. You all don’t deserve this. I’m sorry my brothers, until we meet again, love you all,” UVA running back Xavier Brown wrote.

Early Monday morning he tweeted: “Please just pray.”

UVA Associate Professor Jack Hamilton tweeted that Chandler and Davis were both his students and said, “I’m so incredibly sad right now.”

Chandler attended the professor’s office hours and was “an incredibly nice person, always with a big smile, really sociable and funny.” He said he was “one of those people you just can’t like”.

Hamilton said Davis was a lover to his peers.

“One thing I noticed [him] how much his classmates liked him and vice versa,” the professor wrote.

Jones was charged with second-degree murder over the killing spree. Two other people, including Hollins, were injured.

Police arrested him after a 12-hour manhunt that ended when an officer in Henrico, VA, spotted his car. He was “taken safely into custody without incident.”

The White House said in a statement that “the President and First Lady join the University of Virginia community in mourning after another deadly shooting in America that claimed the lives of three young people.”

In a statement on behalf of Perry’s parents, attorney Michael Haggard thanked the family’s community for their support during “this incredibly tragic time” and said the family is not currently speaking on the issue.

Jones family members could not be reached by The Post Monday.

With mail wires. University of Virginia tributes pour in for slain football player: ‘Three young, great men’


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