Thousands of University of Virginia students and community members flooded the college’s South Lawn Monday night for an emotional vigil honoring three students killed in a shooting one night earlier.
Mourners lit candles and left flowers in remembrance of Davin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry, three UVA football players who were fatally shot when a gunman opened fire at their team bus on campus.
Their deaths have left the tight-knit football team reeling and many players openly wept as mourners paid tribute to the slain young men.
“It’s a void that we will feel for a long time. This team is very, very close,” the team’s former director of player relations, Jordan Bullock, told The Post. “To lose one is tragic, to lose three is just devastating.”
Bullock, 28, said it’s heartbreaking that the victims were taken so soon and will never get to graduate.
He said he believed Perry was destined for greatness.
“D’Sean walked around with a curiosity of the world that would have taken him places,” Bullock said. “I think he would have grown up to be an influential person.”
He added that the student was a “silent leader” who people gravitated to.
“He had this ability just to connect with anybody.”
Bullock said he spoke to Davis last week at a UVA basketball game.
“He looked happy. Last season he was out because of an injury,” he said. “I think he was just happy to be back on the team and contribute.”
“Lavel was someone who always carried a smile on his face,” he added.
Football player Chayce Chalmers, 21, a safety for the UVA team and former roommate of Chandler’s, was in shock over the senseless violence.
“I don’t believe it,” he told The Post of the shooting, his voice breaking. “It doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel real at all.”
He said Chandler was a funny and passionate person who was dedicated to football and enjoyed playing video games.
“He was a great, great guy,” Chalmers said of his roommate.
Chalmers called Perry “iconic” and said Davis was hardworking and “up and coming.”
“[Perry’s] a quiet guy. He’s hilarious. He knew how to get the team motivated,” he said, still speaking in the present. “He’s iconic, man.”
The football player said all three men were like family who shared a special bond.
“Those were my brothers, my teammates,” Chalmers said. “I worked my tail off with them, I cried with them.”
Another player expressed similar bonds with the victims.
“I’ll miss them a lot and I love them very much,” tight end Henry Duke told The Post.
Police arrested UVA student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. and charged him with three counts of second-degree murder. He is being held at Henrico jail.