Athletes at Johnson C. Smith, an HBCU in Charlotte, North Carolina, reflected on the recent shooting that killed three University of Virginia football players and injured several others.
Gathered on campus Friday, athletes were given an opportunity to grieve and express how the events impacted them personally. They lit candles and released balloons in the air during a ceremony.
Virginia officials and police have said Christopher Darnell Jones joined a group of about two dozen others on a field trip Sunday from the Charlottesville campus to see a play. When their bus arrived back on campus, authorities have said Jones opened fire, killing football players Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler.
Jones faces three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding and additional gun-related charges.
Lacasha State Lawson, a JSCU football player told WSOC-TV that the shooting brought “sorrow and a “heavy burden on me.”
Another athlete, basketball player, Evan Carter, said the deaths of the young football players hit home because they were “student-athletes just like me.”
Mark Raley, a softball and volleyball coach at the school, said many athletes were concerned for their own safety after the tragedy.
“We can prevent things like this,” he said.