College football player dies after being shot while protecting his girlfriend


Marshall football player Larry Aaron III was at a New Year’s Eve party in Severn, Maryland, early Jan. 1 when an altercation broke out nearby.

As gunfire erupted, Aaron didn’t think about protecting himself.

Instead, the 6-foot-5, 272-pound defensive tackle used his big frame to shield his girlfriend, according to The Huntington Herald-Dispatch.

A stray bullet struck Aaron in the back, piercing his spine and leaving him paralyzed.

Days later, the sophomore was transferred to the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute in Baltimore.

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He was scheduled to start physical and occupational therapy in early March, The Baltimore Sun reported.

“I don’t want to be like this forever, so I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to get better,” the young man told a reporter.

But on Thursday, Aaron died as a result of complications from the injury.

He was 19.

Marshall football coach John “Doc” Holliday said Thursday that Aaron was “an incredible young man.”

“Marshall University lost a very special young man today and it has shocked and saddened us all,” Holliday said in a statement. “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.”

The Thundering Herd will hold a previously scheduled fundraiser for Aaron during its men’s basketball game against Charlotte on Saturday. In honor of Aaron, who wore No. 93, Marshall will sell “93strong” T-shirts for $20, with proceeds going to his family.

Aaron’s parents set up a GoFundMe page to help with the expenses they incurred after their son was shot and to pay for his recovery, but in more than seven weeks it raised only about $35,000 toward its goal of $250,000.

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Aaron made 13 tackles while playing in eight games for Marshall last season.

While he was an impressive athlete and a beloved friend, family member and teammate, he will be remembered as a hero for his selfless actions Jan. 1.

“That’s just a testament to how Larry is,” Larry Aaron Jr. said of his son in an earlier interview with The Herald-Dispatch. “That’s his mindset, and his instincts 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.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those fortunate enough to know him.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
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