‘Mike is a fighter and he’s showing it’: Former Baton Rouge athlete injured in Univ. of Va. shooting recovering after second surgery
The family of Mike Hollins released the following statement on Wednesday, Nov. 16:
The University of Virginia athletics department announced on Wednesday, Nov. 16, that the Cavaliers’ home football game against Coastal Carolina which was scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19, has been canceled.
The university says the decision was made following the shooting of five students on campus Sunday night.
Read the full statement from the university here.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WAFB) - A former Baton Rouge area high school football player has successfully undergone two surgeries after being shot Sunday night (Nov. 13) alongside three of his teammates and another student at the University of Virginia, officials said.
A former coach of University Lab High School identified one of his former players, Mike Hollins, as a victim in that shooting. Hollins was the 2018 Warrick Dunn Award winner as Sportsline Player of the Year.
Hollins’ mother gave an update on her son’s condition in an announcement posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Brenda Hollins stated Mike had to undergo a second surgery, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
Hollins’ family later confirmed he is out of surgery. They said he is still intubated in the ICU but he is doing well after his second surgery.
A source close to the family said there is no major long-term damage.
When Hollins was shot, the bullet apparently pierced through his body, and doctors were concerned about things like a ruptured colon or intestines, said the source.
His family thanks the community and beyond for their prayers. They are asking people to continue keeping all of the UVA families lifted in prayer saying “they need it as much as we do.”
According to a spokesman for the hospital, one of the shooting victims that was treated was discharged from the medical center on Tuesday while the other patient is in serious condition. He did not disclose which patient Hollins is.
In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, UVA Coach Tony Elliot reflected on the football players who were killed and wounded in the shooting.
Elliot said Hollins always has a smile on his face and is very inquisitive. Hollins does what you ask him to and has a big personality, he added.
The coach recalled how he is hard on Hollins because he has a ton of potential.
“What I’ve seen out of him is a very workman mentality in gaging the discipline and the structure which has resulted in improvements in his plays down the stretch,” said Elliot.
The coach said Hollins is invested in this institution and this program, and he’s really starting to come into his own from a leadership standpoint.
Officials report a total of three people were killed and two people injured in the shooting. Officials identified the three victims who died as D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis, and Devin Chandler. Four of the victims of the shooting are members of the UVA football team, said university officials.
Hollins was injured after being shot twice and had gone through one surgery, which went well, according to his former coach Chad Mahaffey.
Hollins’ mother traveled to Virginia ahead of his second surgery, Mahaffey added.
During his time at UHigh, Hollins led the Cubs to back-to-back state titles.
Hollins reflected on his time at UHigh back in 2018 saying, “We’re brothers; the chemistry here is great,” Hollins said in 2018. “To end the season like this is awesome. It is all I can ask for.”
That same year, Hollins received the Warrick Dunn Award as WAFB’s Sportsline Player of the Year.
“Just to be acknowledged with that list of names is a great accomplishment. It all paid off,” explained Hollins.
University Lab School head football coach and associate athletic director Andy Martin sent the below statement in response to the news of the shooting:
“It’s a sad, sad day for our UVA community,” said James E. Ryan, University of Virginia president.
That is how Ryan started off Monday morning’s somber news conference following the deadly shooting.
“Upon arrival at the scene, the university police found multiple victims of gunshot wounds,” continued Ryan.
The accused shooter is Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, a former UVA football player.
“We reviewed information Mr. Jones had made a comment about possessing a gun to a person that was not affiliated with the university,” said UVA Department of Safety and Security Chief Tim Longo.
Jail records show Jones was booked into Henrico County Jail on Monday, Nov. 14 just before 6 p.m. on several charges including three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of firearm use in commission of felony (first offense).
On Tuesday evening, Jones was taken from Henrico Jail to Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.
Jones was originally expected to appear for an early morning video arraignment hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 15 but the appearance was never scheduled because the district court never received the proper paperwork.
That hearing is expected to take place on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
LSU head football coach Brian Kelly started his Monday news conference with thoughts on the shooting.
“It’s tragic,” said Kelly. “Our hearts go out to them, the football program. It’s senseless violence.”
Dontayvion Wicks, a former football player at Plaquemine High School, also now plays for UVA. Wicks confirmed with WAFB that her son was not on the bus and wasn’t injured in the shooting incident.
Wick said her son is close friends with all the victims.
“They just all were so close. Him and Mike, him and D’Sean, him and Lavel, they all just had a bond,” Wick said. “I don’t know. I just have no words. It’s heart-shattering. Heartbreaking. My heart goes out to their parents, to their families, just get a call like that saying that your child is no longer here, they’re lifeless.”
Wicks said everyone is still in disbelief.
“They’re in school, in college, you think your child is in college, doing what’s best, and to have to get news like this at this hour of the night saying your child is a possible victim in a shooting… I don’t wish that on no parent.”
According to university police, members of the football team were shot on a charter bus that had just returned to Central Grounds Parking Garage from a class field trip Sunday night.
University President Jim Ryan said he spoke to one of the wounded students who was in good condition but the second remained in critical condition, according to the university.
CLICK HERE for the university’s full news story.
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