University of Virginia running back injured in Sunday bus shooting was trying to warn others when he was shot, says mother |  CNN

University of Virginia running back injured in Sunday bus shooting was trying to warn others when he was shot, says mother | CNN


The mother of University of Virginia running back Mike Hollins, who was hospitalized after a shooting that killed three football players last Sunday, said her son was trying to warn others before he was hit by guns. fire.

Hollins, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is one of two people injured when a classmate opened fire on a bus returning to Charlottesville after a school trip, killing football players Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr .and D’Sean Perry.

While Mike Hollins remains hospitalized, the athlete’s mother, Brenda Hollins, spoke to CNN’s John Berman on Friday night and described the heartbreaking moments when her son exited the bus yelling at two of his classmates. to escape.

But when he noticed no one else was coming out, he started getting on the bus and yelling at them to leave, she said.

“He tried to take that first step back on the bus and he ran into the shooter,” Hollins said.

“I am grateful that he is able to tell the story,” she added.

Brenda Hollins also gave an update on her condition, saying Friday was a tough day for her son and he still has a long way to go to recover.

“My son, he has feeling, so having pain is good. And so I try to see him in that aspect because… I saw him yesterday… he was standing, he was walking. He was laughing, and I mean we had a great time, and then today he’s in pain,” the mother told CNN. “He’s back in bed, and I know it’s going to be up and down, and I’m grateful to him because with the pain, here he is, he’s with me.”

She added: “I am grateful, grateful because I could be one of the parents of the other boys and they are preparing to receive the bodies of their sons. I could not imagine. I could not imagine.

Hollins said her son, from his hospital bed, was waiting to hear what happened to Perry and the other people who died. Perry was Mike’s best friend, his mother said.

“As soon as they took him off the ventilator, he asked ‘where’s D’Sean.’ And nobody said anything, and my daughter, she shook her head and she told him he didn’t. hadn’t survived. And it just broke down, it broke down,” Hollins said.

The mother described feeling helpless as she tried to comfort her injured son.

“Every time your child cries, you want to comfort him and that was a time when I couldn’t comfort him,” she said. “Children always run to their mother, always, and he couldn’t run to me, and I couldn’t hug him,” she added.

The suspect in the shooting, former UVA football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said. He also faces two counts of malicious wounding, each accompanied by a firearms charge.

Jones had his first court appearance on Wednesday and the court ordered that he be held without bail. He is still being held at Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, according to online records.

The University of Virginia held a public memorial service at its basketball stadium, John Paul Jones Arena, on Saturday to honor the lives lost in the shooting. The families of the three victims sat in the front rows, hugging each other.

Also in attendance was state governor Glenn Youngkin.

“Apart from our roles, we are also called to celebrate the lives of Devin, Lavel and D’Sean, and to embrace what this university teaches us beyond the classroom, which we are blessed to have in good times and in times of loss,” University President Whitt Clement said at the start of the service.

“Rest assured, these three young found men will be forever remembered by our University of Virginia,” Clement said.

Athletic director Carla Williams, who also spoke at the service, said she learned a lot about the victims after spending time with their families.

Chandler loved to dance and laugh, while Davis always wanted to sit in the front pew of the church, despite his 6-foot-7 frame blocking the rows behind him, Williams said. And Perry treasured his childhood Power Ranger Halloween costume that his family said he wore until Thanksgiving that year, she added.

The coaches spoke at the event as well as the students, each of whom referred to the three football players as their brothers.

“I don’t know how we move forward without you, your impact on our lives, the team, the community, the university is immeasurable,” associate head coach Marques Hagans said, speaking in a recorded message about Davis.

Sophomore Cody Brown read aloud from a letter he wrote to Chandler, the energy of which he said would brighten any practice. “We’ve been lucky and fortunate enough to have you in our lives,” Brown said.

Third-year Ben Smiley said Perry always reminded him that “life is more important than football”.

I never really knew what he meant,” Smiley said. “Since the drama, many things he said to me, I understood the meaning.”

The university has increased security in and around the arena after receiving a threatening email related to the memorial service, the UVA Police Department said on Twitter. During the ceremony, there was a visible police presence, with police cars parked outside the arena and officers driving around the parking lot with sniffer dogs.

When the Virginia men’s basketball team took to the court for a game in Las Vegas on Friday, the players wore sweatshirts honoring the three football players killed in the shooting.

The sweatshirts featured the words “UVA Strong” on the front and the names Chandler, Davis Jr. and Perry on the back.

“I want Coach (Tony) Elliott and all of these players and especially these families to know that we love them and are certainly praying for them,” Cavaliers men’s basketball head coach Tony Bennett said during from the ESPN2 TV broadcast on Friday.

Several college football teams across the state of Virginia are honoring football players with helmet decals at upcoming games. The Virginia Tech Hokies, Old Dominion Monarchs, Liberty Flames and James Madison Dukes have all announced that players will wear helmet decals Saturday.

NFL Washington Commanders also announced that the team will wear three helmet decals with the jersey numbers of the three football players.

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