University of Virginia student Mike Hollins is speaking out following the deadly shooting that took the lives of three of his classmates on Nov. 13. Hollins was also shot multiple times in the back and underwent several surgeries to repair the damage.
Hollins’ three teammates and friends, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry, all died after they were allegedly shot by another student, 22-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. The shooting occurred as the charter bus the students were riding in returned from a Washington D.C. field trip. Hollins sat down with Michael Strahan for an interview to discuss the tragedy. The segment aired on Good Morning America on Dec. 15.
“I knew in that moment that you know God had his hand on my life. It just felt so surreal,” Hollins said.
Hollins said he had been asleep as the bus returned to campus.
“Once I got up and the bus was stopping is when the gunshots, you know, started ringing out.”
“Me and another teammate were the only two to get off the bus,” he continued. “And, I turned back and looked over my shoulder and I realized we were the only two running. I didn’t think much in that moment. It was just literally an instinct, a reaction to go back.”
Hollins said ran back to the bus and locked eyes with the shooter before turning and trying to run.
“It was just a cold look. It was, uh, I don’t know. Just like a numb look. In that moment, I just dropped everything and took off running.”
Hollins said it was God that brought a pre-med student to his aide and helped to keep him calm until the paramedics came. He also said it was God who kept one of the bullets from missing his spine by two centimeters.
Hollins was asked how he felt when he found out his friends didn’t make it off the bus alive. He was taken straight into surgery at the hospital and didn’t learn the fate of his friends for two days.
“I’ve never cried like that before,” he replied.
My heart aches for the three young men killed and those injured in a sensless act of gun violence at the University of Virginia last night. My prayers are with the families of Lavel Davis, Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler. We can and must do better. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/Xr8MRMpqa0
— Will Jawando (@willjawando) November 14, 2022
“I felt so hopeless and so powerless in that moment … I felt him hit me in my back … But I just knew I wasn’t goin’ down without a fight.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 15, 2022
Hollins added that because of the tragedy, he is no longer shy about telling people how he feels about them or that he is looking forward to seeing them again. He also said he plans to honor his friends who did not make it off the bus alive.
“I’m still doin’ it for the people I love, for the people that were on that bus. And everything I do from here on will be, you know, in their name, in their light. And I just want to do as much as I can to keep their, you know, their flame lit.”