HomeSportsVirginia RB Mike Hollins Details Survival of School Shooting

Virginia RB Mike Hollins Details Survival of School Shooting

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

Virginia running back Mike Hollins opened up Thursday of his survival in the school shooting which left three of his teammates dead on Nov. 13.

Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry were killed on a charter bus in an on-campus parking garage after returning from a class trip to Washington, D.C. Two others, including Hollins, were injured during the shooting. In an interview with Good Morning America, Hollins recounted how the incident transpired.

Hollins revealed that once he heard the first rounds of gunfire from the suspected shooter, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., he immediately hopped off the bus.

“Once I got up, and the bus was stopping, is when the gunshots started ringing out,” Hollins said, via USA Today. “In that moment, I knew we had to get off that bus because it could get a lot worse. Me and another teammate were the only two to get off the bus. I turned back and I look over my shoulder, and I realize we’re the only two running.

“I didn’t really think much in that moment. It was just literally an instinct and a reaction to go back.”

Hollins came into close contact with the shooter, at one point locking eyes with him.

“It was just a cold look,” Hollins said. “I don’t know, it was just like a numb look… It was so close and I felt so hopeless and powerless in that moment.” 

Mike Hollins Survives Virginia School Shooting

Hollins took off running again before realizing he had been struck by a bullet. A pre-med student tended to Hollins, calming him down before the ambulance came.

“I felt him hit me in my back,” Hollins said. “But I just knew I wasn’t going down without a fight. I found a pre-med student, and that was God again. She was there to help me, kept me calm, kept my breathing under control, was checking my pulse until the ambulance came…

“I think I got hit in the small intestine, kidney, and they were trying to see if it damaged my bladder. By the grace of God, it missed my spine by like, two centimeters or something like that.”

Hollins underwent surgery and found out about his slain teammates two days later.

“I’ve never cried like that before,” Hollins said. “I mean, I lost a brother that day. I loved Lavel with all my heart. Loved Devin with all my heart. But D’Sean, it was different with him. Man, that was my brother. So it was tragic hearing that he was gone.”

Jones Jr., meanwhile, was arrested a day after the shooting in Henrico County, Virginia, about 75 miles southeast of Charlottesville. He faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun to commit a felony.