Marshall redshirt freshman defensive tackle Larry Aaron, 19, has died after being hit in the back by stray gunfire during a New Year's Eve party in Severn, Maryland, the school confirmed on Thursday.
"Marshall University lost a very special young man today and it has shocked and saddened us all," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said in a statement released by the school. "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."
According to the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia, Aaron passed away at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Md., on Thursday. He was initially paralyzed from the gunshot wound on Jan. 1. People at the party told Melissa Aaron, Larry's mother, that Larry was standing by a wall when an altercation broke out nearby that led to gunfire.
The Herald-Dispatch reported that Aaron was shot after throwing his body in front of his girlfriend to protect her.
Marshall will hold a previously-scheduled fundraiser in Aaron's memory from 6-8 p.m. at Saturday's men's basketball game against Charlotte. The school is selling 93strong T-shirts for $20.
Larry Aaron played in eight games and had 13 tackles this year, including one in Marshall's 31-28 win over Colorado State in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 16.