UVA shooting: Football talked to his mom right before he was kllled, she tells NBC


Three University of Virginia football players were shot dead last month after returning from a field trip, one of whom was on the phone with her mother just before the shooting, she told NBC.

D’Sean Perry, 22, was talking to his mother, Happy Perry, when “his cell phone was dead,” the mother told the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt in an interview that aired Wednesday. Told.

“I just got off the phone with him.” Happy Perry told the show I paused, then repeated until I was in tears. “I just got off the phone with him.”

“I am broken,” she said.

The comments came in the week D’Sean Perry’s parents were giving their first interview since the murder of their son and two teammates on November 13th. D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. were killed and two of his students were injured in Washington, DC, officials said.

At a press conference Thursday, parents called for changes to gun laws and college football players to advocate for those changes and mental health issues.

“[College athletes]can say yes to gun laws and make a statement and let them know they stand by us,” D’Sean’s father Sean Perry said. told reporters in Coral Gables, Fla., where he lives. I live

“(We) don’t want another family to go through something like this again,” said Sean Perry.

Happy Perry said New Year’s Eve is hard to remember their loss.

“We were trying to put up a Christmas tree to give our home a little bit of hope. D’Sean was 6 feet 5 inches so he was always our tree topper,” the mother said Thursday. Told.

“So we waited until he got home because he was playing football and put the tree topper on. I couldn’t understand that he wasn’t here, so it was really… for me a moment. was.

The UVA attack is one of more than 620 mass shootings in the United States this year, including last month at a grocery store in Virginia and an LGBTQ club in Colorado, according to a tally by CNN and CNN. It was one of more than 75 mass shootings on school campuses in 2022. Gun Violence Archive; At least four people were injured in the shooting, not including the shooter.

University of Virginia shooting suspect and former UVA walk-on football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of felony use of a handgun, officials said. being asked. Jones also faces two counts of malicious injuries, each with a firearms charge.

Jones first appeared in court on November 16, and the court ordered him to be held without bail. He remains in custody at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Penitentiary, according to online records.

D’Sean Perry is from Miami, a senior in Studio Art and African American and African Studies, and was a linebacker on the football team. The university posthumously awarded degrees to him and two of his other footballers in early December.

At a press conference on Thursday, the Perrys said they want tougher gun laws.

“The red flags were there and[the suspect]could still buy firearms,” ​​said Happy Perry.

Jones has been denied firearm purchases twice, once in 2021 for failing to buy a handgun under the age of 21 in 2018, and once in 2021 because of pending criminal charges.

However, he was able to legally purchase a rifle in February and a 9mm pistol in July. It is unclear if any of these weapons were used in the November shooting.

Virginia Police said the purchase was not barred this year because a court reduced the pending charges to a misdemeanor in October 2021.

Jones was charged and convicted of reckless driving and hit-and-run last year and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. He received a suspended sentence for all offenses.

The Perrys also believe the University of Virginia should have kicked Jones off campus before the shooting because the university’s investigation into the student was already underway, a Florida attorney said at a press conference. rice field.

“[The university]could have kicked him off campus long before this incident,” said Coral Gables attorney Michael Haggard.

Prior to the shooting, Jones was the subject of a pending gun-related lawsuit before the university’s judicial council, officials said.

In that case, a student reported in September that Jones “commented to him about having a gun,” but the person didn’t see Jones with a gun, a university spokesman said. Brian Coy said Jones “repeatedly refused to cooperate with university officials” and in October his case was escalated for further investigation and possible disciplinary action, Coy said.

The school is also investigating “failure to disclose” Jones’ misdemeanor conviction to school officials, Coy said.

The school’s judicial council took over the case, and the outcome was pending when the shooting occurred, said Timothy Longo, the school’s police chief.

CNN’s request for comment from the University of Virginia about Thursday’s parents’ press conference was not immediately answered.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyales said he would request an external investigation into the events leading up to the shooting at the university’s request.

Also this week, a student injured in the attack recalled “making eye contact” with the gunman before being shot, he told ABC.

Mike Hollins, the University of Virginia football player who was injured in the attack, told ABC’s Michael Strahan in an interview that aired Thursday.

“When I woke up and the bus stopped, gunshots started. At that moment, I knew I had to get off the bus.

“It was just me and another teammate getting off the bus. When I turned around and looked over my shoulder, I could see that we were the only ones running,” Hollins said. I was.

Hollins turned to help others, and that’s when he came face to face with the shooter, he told ABC.

“In that moment, I didn’t think much of it. It was literally an instinct and a reaction to wanting to go back,” he told ABC.

The shooter “didn’t say anything,” Hollins recalled, and he eventually turned around and “run away.”

he was shot “I felt him punch me in the back,” Hollins said.

Hollins ran into a medical student who helped calm him down and “kept his breathing under control as he checked his pulse until the ambulance arrived.”

Hollins didn’t know the shooter until then, but he said he met him the morning before the field trip, adding that he “seemed normal.”

“I didn’t know him. I didn’t know him at all.”

Hospitalized for several days, Hollins learned of his teammate’s death days after the shooting.

“I’ve never cried so much,” Hollins told ABC. “I mean, that day I lost my brother. I love Ravel dearly and I love Devin dearly. But D’Sean – it was different with him.”

“That was my brother,” Hollins said, clearly emotional. “I was so sad to hear he was gone.”

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