Molly Lillard, the daughter of Ex-NFL Star Al Toon, was shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide involving her husband, Royce Lillard III. Lillard passed away on Sunday at 28 years old. According to The Arizona Republic, Lillard was found outside of a home with multiple gunshot wounds. Paramedics rushed Lillard to the hospital buts she succumbed to her injuries.
Meanwhile, Royce Lillard III barricaded himself within the home. The police attempted to establish contact with Royce for several hours before sending a swat team inside. Officers found Royce Lillard dead inside the home from a likely self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to The Times-Tribune in Middleton, Officer Kevin Watts stated that “At this point in the investigation, all indications are that this was a murder-suicide.” So far, no indications of motive have been released.
Molly Lillard took after her father in terms of athleticism. For instance, she was a standout volleyball player at Middleton High School in Wisconsin. She was a four-year letter winner for the University of Michigan, where she played for the Wolverines. In 2013, Lillard earned an honorable mention of all-American honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. The University of Michigan Volleyball Team’s Twitter put out a statement regarding her death.
Officials with the Scottsdale Police department said that they found the 8-month-old child of the couple unharmed inside the home. The child is now safe with family. Molly’s father, Al Toon, spent eight years with the NFL. He was a wide receiver for the Jets. He has two other daughters and a son.
Messages of Love
A former Middleton football coach, who hired Al Toon while his son, Nick Toon was in school, described the whole family to The Times-Tribune In Middleton. He said, “When I think of Molly and the whole family, they were just very down to earth, very giving and just outstanding character people. All four kids were always smiling. You just couldn’t ask for more giving people than Al and Jane.”
A former teammate of Lillard told The Times-Tribune In Middleton more about who she was. “On the court, the thing I will remember the most about Molly is how she was such a strong leader, so mature, tough, and inspirational. She was able to shake off anything and keep pushing us all to be our best. Off the court, she was so light-hearted, had an infectious energy and laugh, and was so hard working at everything she did.”
Molly’s former teammates and friends have also paid tribute to her on Twitter. Many are expressing their own grief and offering the Toon family their condolences.