Thousands gather to honor UVA shooting victims

Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 10:28 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The University of Virginia held a memorial Saturday for the victims of the shooting that claimed three lives and injured two others last weekend.

The families of Devin Chandler, Laval Davis, Jr. and D’Sean Perry walked into an arena surrounded by more than 9,000 people who went to honor their loved ones.

“To the families, we love your sons. We love your sons. And we will make sure that legacy never fades at the University of Virginia,” said UVA Athletics Director Dr. Carla Williams.

Through laughter and tears, their teammates shared the impact they had on and off the field.

“Oh, what I would give to see you and that smile of yours and just hug you one more time,” said UVA linebacker Chico Bennett. “Unfortunately, I cannot. But I know that you’re smiling up there and so for that, I will do the same down here.”

Devin Chandler was known as Devin the dancing machine to his family. He was always happy and lit up the room.

“We never thought we had to say goodbye so soon. It was never supposed to be this way,” said UVA running back Cody Brown. “You will remain in our hearts forever because of the impact you made in our lives.”

D’Sean Perry was a superhero to his family. He was a gentle giant who loved the arts.

“He was a glass half full kinda person whose smile always lit up the whole room,” said UVA linebacker Josh McCarron. “D’Sean was special that way. No matter who you were. Where you were from or what you stood for. D’Sean loved you like no other.”

Lavel Davis, Jr. is remembered for his strong faith by his family. He was kind and thoughtful.

“He was a role model not only for young kids in South Carolina to look up to,” said quarterback Jared Raymen. “He was someone who inspired me through his character, values, and ability to overcome adversity, which I strive to achieve.”

The three young men were sons, brothers, family and friends to so many.

During the ceremony, an update was given that shooting victim Marlee Morgan is home and doing well. Victim Mike Hollins continues recovering in Charlottesville.