FREDERICK, Md. - Nearly two month after a college football player was shot at a New Year's Eve party in Maryland, police say he has died from his injuries.
Larry Aaron III, 19, was a sophomore defensive lineman at Marshall University in West Virginia who grew up in Howard County. He graduated from Oakland Mills High School in Columbia.
"He was doing great in therapy," said family friend Lisa Zovko. "He was a fighter. He was strong."
Zovko said Aaron suddenly took a turn on Tuesday and died from complications to his injury just two days later. She was with the Aaron family Wednesday night at Frederick Memorial Hospital.
"This is the worst thing that could have ever happened to them," she said.
Aaron was hit by a stray bullet on the early morning of Jan. 1 at a large house party in the 7800 block of Bastille Road in Severn. He was reportedly protecting his girlfriend from the gunfire. He was transported to a shock trauma center for treatment, and paralyzed below the waist as a result of the shooting. His injuries were considered to be non-life-threatening.
Aaron had been doing so well earlier this month that he attended a fundraiser in his honor at Oakland Mills. For many in attendance, it would be the last time they would see Aaron alive.
"I have to believe Larry felt the love from the community and everyone in that room," said Zovko.
Anne Arundel County police are still searching for the gunman in the shooting. Investigators said another person, a 17-year-old boy, was also shot and survived.
Zovko was in tears as she expressed hope the suspect would be caught.
"It can't change anything, but it can help his parents," she said.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Anne Arundel County Homicide Unit at 410-222-4731. Anonymous tips can also be left at the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line at 410-222-4700.