COLUMBIA, Md. - A college football player from Maryland is now paralyzed after he was shot at a New Year's Eve party, according to his family.
Larry Aaron, a 19-year-old sophomore defensive lineman at Marshall University in West Virginia, grew up in Howard County and attended Oakland Mills High School in Columbia.
The shooting happened early New Year's Day at a big house party in Severn in Anne Arundel County. His family says it does not appear Aaron was the intended target.
According to a GoFundMe page, he is expected to recover from the shooting, but the star football player is paralyzed from the waist down.
"Lawrence Aaron III attended a NYE party in Severn, MD with his friends and was struck in the back by a stray bullet fired from an unidentified party goer," the GoFundMe page says. "The bullet hit Lawrence in the thoracic spine and has resulted in paralysis from the waist down.
"Our family is devastated, but truly thankful for God's mercy on Lawrence's life."
Anne Arundel County police say a 17-year-old boy was also shot and survived. Investigators are still searching for the shooter.
Family friend Eric Queen says he heard about what happened on the radio while driving home from work. He drove straight to the Aaron family's home in Columbia.
"I'm just blown away. The violence - when does it stop?" Queen asked.
He says he has known Aaron since he was a child. He has seen how talented he is and thought that he was NFL-bound.
"This is a young man that has promise, goodwill to his family, gracious people to God's Earth, and this has to happen," said Queen.
Marshall University head football coach Doc Holliday wrote on Twitter: "It is however with a heavy heart that we bring in this new year as I send my thoughts and prayers to Larry Aaron and his entire family during this difficult time. Your @HerdFB family is here for you. #HerdStrong"