A video of slain University of Virginia football player Lavel Davis Jr. talking about his love for his teammates, coaches and their families has surfaced following Sunday’s tragic fatal shooting.
Davis Jr. spoke of how he found the team was like “a real life family” during an unaired interview with Preston Willett of CBS 19 Sports from before the season that was shared to Twitter.
“Off the field we all hang out together, we’re all a big family,” Davis Jr. said.
“Coach [Marques] Hagans, he invites everybody to his house … We be at his house, chilling all the time with the kids. Going to the pool with them. It’s like a real life family in our group”
Davis Jr. attributed the family-like quality of the team to their keenness on helping freshmen members, who then “pay it forward” when they become upperclassmen.
He continued: “As a group, we’re together. We hang out with each other all the time, play the game, go out to eat, go out together. It’s like we’re a real brotherhood.”
“Coach is a real one. He’s family,” Davis Jr. said. “I’m a big family person. I like being with my family. I like being with my mom, brother and sister, my dad.
“So it’s like, they’re like my family here,” he added. “Being with them, it’s a blessing.”
Davis had been ruled out of 2021 after an injury, but fought hard to get back on the field and had started six of the first seven games on the current season. He caught a pass in each of those games.
“Of his 16 catches on the season, seven receptions have gone for 20 yards or more, tied for the most on the team,” his team bio states.
Davis, originally from Dorchester, South Carolina, and two of his teammates, Devin Chandler of Virginia Beach, South Carolina and D’Sean Perry of Miami, Florida, were all killed in the shooting Sunday evening. Two other people were injured in the shooting.
The alleged gunman, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., had waited for his victims to return from a field trip to Washington, DC, and “just shot up the bus” they were on, according to the father of one of two other people who were injured in the gunfire.
Authorities arrested Jones Jr. — a former Virginia walk-on running back in 2018 — on Monday morning following a 12-hour manhunt. He was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and is being held at Henrico jail.
A motive for the shooting has not yet been determined.