Ringing in the New Year turned into a heartbreaking, life-altering moment for one college football player.
Marshall University redshirt freshman defensive tackle Larry Aaron was paralyzed after being shot in the back at a New Year's Eve party near Baltimore, as confirmed by USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday night. Local WBAL-TV additionally reported that Aaron's parents said shots rang out after a fight erupted near him and that he was shot in the back while shielding his girlfriend.
Police founded the 19-year-old defensive tackle on the ground at the large house party in Severn, Maryland around 1 a.m. on New Year's Day, as reported by the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia.
"I'm in shock myself," Aaron's mom, Melissa Aaron, told the Herald-Dispatch.
She added: "It is in his spine and he has no feeling in his legs. They can't remove [the bullet] because they are afraid it could be dangerous and hinder him even more to do so. It is right in the middle of his spine."
That being said, Aaron says her son "is in good spirits and he's talking with teammates."
While the police continue to search for a suspect and investigate a motive for the shooting, Aaron's family and friends have been donating money to a GoFundMe page made to help Larry and his family with his medical expenses.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, the fund has raised over $10,000 towards its $250,000 goal.
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(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)