An utterly devastating story to pass along from Marshall University, as a 19-year-old football player has died after being paralyzed in a shooting incident on New Year’s Eve.
Larry Aaron III, a redshirt sophomore defensive tackle for the Thundering Herd, has passed away Thursday as a result of his injuries. His head football coach at Marshall John Doc Holliday confirmed the news on Twitter.
We lost an incredible young man today. The entire Herd Family is praying for Larry Aaron's family. pic.twitter.com/ektV7ixukc
— John Doc Holliday (@DOCMUFB) February 22, 2018
“Marshall University lost a very special young man today and it has shocked and saddened us all,” Holliday wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Larry Aaron’s family and friends, many of whom were his fellow Thundering Herd teammates. His loss will be felt in every corner of our program and his spirit will never be forgotten.”
Aaron was paralyzed as a result of his heroic actions in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2018, according to a report from Grant Taylor of The Herald-Dispatch:
“In the early hours of 2018, Aaron was shot and paralyzed while attending a New Year’s Eve party in Severn, Md., located in Anne Arundel County, outside of Baltimore.
There was an altercation close by, and as gun shots rang out, Aaron did the only thing he knew to do: protect the people he cared for. Aaron and his girlfriend were standing against a wall, and as the shots rang out, he blanketed her with his 6-foot-5, 272-pound frame.
One of those shots pierced Aaron’s spine, leaving him without feeling in his legs. The bullet is lodged in such a way that doctors are afraid to remove it because of the potential for further injury.”
“‘That’s just a testament to how Larry is,’ his father Larry Aaron Jr. told Taylor at the time. ‘That’s his mindset and his instincts just took over. The first thing he thought of was to protect his girlfriend. That’s just how he is and the type of person he is. We raised our kids to be helpful, be mindful, be respectful, and that’s just Larry being Larry.'”
Aaron’s father also spread a message that day that strikes even harder now.
“Of course, people are going to go on with their lives and everything, but I want people to remember L,” he said. “I ask that people continue to pray for him, pray for us and our family because we are definitely going to need it.”
We certainly offer up all of our prayers and condolences to Aaron’s family and friends and extended family at Marshall after this unimaginable tragedy.