D’Sean Perry’s family attorney looking at UVA’s responsibility in deaths of football players

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

The family of one of three slain Virginia football players, D’Sean Perry, held a press conference on Thursday in honoring their son’s life, and called on UVA to cooperate in leading the charge to prevent another future tragedy.

Speaking alongside family attorney Michael Haggard of the Haggard Law Firm, D’Sean’s mother, Happy Perry, said, “D’Sean loves his community and everything that he did.”

Haggard said he and the Perrys are examining the University of Virginia’s responsibility in terms of preventing the shootings.

D’Sean Perry was one of three UVA football players gunned down on Nov. 13, after returning from a day-long, class field trip to Washington, D.C. Another UVA student, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was charged with three counts of second-degree murder among other charges, and is being held without bond at the Charlottesville/Albemarle County Jail.

Perry, Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler were all killed in the shooting, while teammate Mike Hollins, and Marlee Morgan, another student on the trip, were wounded. Hollins underwent two surgeries before being released.

Sean Perry, D’Sean’s father, said that people wouldn’t have known his son was a football player, because away from the football field, “he’s just a regular old kid.”

Sean Perry said, “He (D’Sean) was talking about more politics, he would talk about religion, he would talk about anything other than football. So, we’re very, very proud of who he became as a young man, as a leader.”

Meanwhile, Haggard addressed UVA’s responsibility in the tragedy.

“The University of Virginia gave D’Sean his opportunity, but they made a mistake,” Haggard said at the press conference. “One thing that [the family] want the University of Virginia to cooperate with is not only acknowledging what happened here, but to be a leader for our colleges and universities who all have this problem going on, every single one.”

UVA admitted after the shootings that there had been previous reports about Jones possessing a firearm. Haggard noted that those reports should have sent red flags about Jones.

“We are exploring, looking at the University of Virginia’s responsibility here,” Haggard said. “Unfortunately, as you all know, due to federal preemption, right now, we’re limited in what we can do with a gun manufacturer or even this gun seller.”