College Athlete Paralyzed After Shooting at New Year’s Party

January 3, 2018 Updated: October 5, 2018

A Marshall University football player is paralyzed after a bullet struck him during a shooting at a New Year’s party he attended, his mother said.

Larry Aaron lll, 19, defensive tackle with the Marshall Thundering Herd, was hit in the back and the bullet lodged in his spine, paralyzing him from waist down, his mother, Melissa Aaron, told The Herald-Dispatch.

“It is in his spine and he has no feeling in his legs,” she said. “They can’t remove it because they are afraid it could be dangerous and hinder him even more to do so. It is right in the middle of his spine.”

She said she received a call about 70 minutes into the New Year saying her son had been shot.

“I’m in shock myself,” Aaron’s mother said. “I’m just numb. It’s such a freak accident.”

Aaron lll found out about the house party on Bastille Road in Severn, Maryland, on social media and went to have a good time on the New Year’s Eve, his mother said. She’s learned from other attendees that Aaron lll was standing by a wall when an altercation broke out near him and escalated into gunfire.

According to WBAL reporter Kim Dacey, Aaron lll was shielding his girlfriend from the gunfire when he was hit.

After being advertised on Snapchat, about 150 young people showed up for the party and it quickly got out of hand “and got to the point where it couldn’t be controlled,” said Lt. Ryan Frashure with Anne Arundel County Police Department, according to WJZ.

Aaron lll, a 6-foot 5-inch, 272-pound talent both on football and basketball fields, graduated Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, Maryland, before joining Marshall University on an athletic scholarship. He’s a sophomore at the college and red shirt freshman on the football team, where he played eight games and registered 13 tackles. His injuries are not life-threatening, police stated.

“It is … with a heavy heart that we bring in this new year as I send my thoughts and prayers to Larry Aaron and his entire family during this difficult time,” stated Marshall’s football coach John Doc Holliday‏ on Twitter.

Melissa Aaron thanked the Marshall community for supporting her son during this difficult time, mentioning at least three teammates—running back Tyler King, and linebackers Jaquan Yulee and Donyae Moody—whodrove to Maryland to visit Larry.

“He is in good spirits and he’s talking with teammates,” she said. “I’m so proud of how the Marshall family sticks together.”

A 17-year-old was also shot, in the arm, at the party. Police are looking for suspects and have asked party attendees to provide pictures or videos that might help in the investigation.

A GoFundMe page has been setup to help with Larry Aaron lll’s medical expenses.

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