One of the two surviving victims of a University of Virginia shooting that left three football players dead is breaking his silence this week as he continues to recover from being shot in the back himself for “my brothers I lost.”
Mike Hollins spoke to “Good Morning America” as he recalled when happened when Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. opened fire on a charter bus at an on-campus parking garage behind the drama department on Nov. 13 while returning from a class field trip to Washington, D.C. to see a play.
Once the shooting was done, fellow UVA football players Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D’Sean Perry were dead and Hollins and Marlee Morgan were also wounded.
“Once I got up, and the bus was stopping, is when the gunshots started ringing out,” Hollins said. “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 said he “locked eyes” with the shooter and said he “felt so hopeless and powerless.”
“It was just a cold look,” Hollins said. “I don’t know, it was just like a numb look. … I felt him hit me in my back, but I knew I wasn’t going down without a fight.”
A pre-med student assisted Hollins until the ambulance arrived. He added that he was shot in the small intestine, but the bullet “missed my spine by like, two centimeters or something like that.”
He would learn about his teammates death after he got out of surgery.
“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.”
The shooting prompted a 12-hour manhunt and lockdown until Jones was arrested off campus.
“Did he say anything?” Strahan asked of the suspect.
“Nothing at all,” Hollins said. “I mean we locked eyes, and that was it. It was just a cold look. It was, I don’t know, it was just a numb look, and in that moment, I just dropped everything and took off running. I felt him hit me in my back, but I knew I wasn’t going down without a fight. And I found a pre-med student, and that was God again – she was there to help me, she kept me calm, kept my breathing under control, was checking my pulse, until the ambulance came.”
“I didn’t know him. I didn’t know him at all,” Hollins said of the suspect. “I had saw him that morning, before we got on the bus.”
“What was his demeanor before you got on that bus?” Strahan asked.
“He was looking normal to me,” Hollins said.
It’s going to be a long road for Hollins with his health and mental health and we wish him all the luck.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.