Recent Godwin grads react to national event

By: Lily McGinnis

The tragic and deadly November shooting of five UVA students has affected an entire com-
munity of students and families. Among those affected are many Godwin graduates now students at the University of Virginia.

On Nov. 13, at 10:30p.m., UVA police responded to a report of shots fired at the Culbreth parking deck. They found five shooting victims, all UVA students. Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry, and Lavel Davis Jr. were UVA football players who died in this tragedy.
Several UVA students said they found out about the shooting at around 10:30 p.m. that night because UVA sent a “Run, Hide, Fight” alert to their school emails saying there was an active shooter.

The jerseys of the three UVA players killed in the shooting

Ann Turner Barricklow, GHS class of 2022, is a first year at UVA. She said, “I was confused when I received the first email because we always get alerts about things happening around Charlottesville, however, in the following minutes when
we started to receive more emails and alerts, I understood the severity of the situation.”

Evi Spears, GHS class of GHS 2020, is a third year at the UVA. She said, “I vividly remember they sent us an email in all caps saying ‘RUN HIDE FIGHT,’ and that’s when everyone really started freaking out and realizing how real and close it was.”

Joe Thompson, GHS class of 2021, is a second year at the UVA. He said, “My immediate action was fear because I didn’t know where it happened or if there were any deaths, and the suspect was at large so nobody knew where he was.”

UVA students were in lockdown from 10:30p.m. Nov. 13 until 11:30 a.m. the next morning. UVA canceled classes
that Monday because the suspect still hadn’t been caught.

Spears says, “Luckily I live in an apartment, so I was able to move around a little bit within the apartment, but for the first years in dorms, they weren’t even able to leave their rooms to go to the bathroom.”

On the Tuesday following the shooting, the entire school met on the lawn and stood together silently, mourning the loss of their classmates.

Thompson said, “We had a silent vigil the next night with candles. Around grounds, all the fraternities and sororities put up banners. Beta bridge, a small bridge that students can paint to promote clubs, events, etc., has been painted with their numbers and initials and everyone has been writing small notes on the bridge.”

On social media, a lot of people reposted go-fund-me’s and memorials posts to show respect for the victims.” Barricklow said, “All of these have really shown how the UVA community has come together during such a heartbreaking time.”

On Nov. 19, thousands attended a two-hour memorial for the shooting victims, at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Chandler, Perry, and Davis Jr. were classmates, teammates, friends, and family.

Virginia football head coach Tony Elliott spoke at the
event. Elliott said “Only time will reveal God’s purpose in this adversity. Going forward, I’m confident that all three are rejoicing in paradise, speaking good things on behalf of each of us in preparation for the time we will all be together again.”

Owen Wassmer, GHS class of 2022, is a first year student. He said, “I didn’t know the severity of the situation at first… just thought it was a gun that went off but then university alerts stated that there was an active shooter. I knew it was far away and I was not worried that night, but in the morning when the fatalities came to light, I felt pretty vulnerable and just
generally sad.”

Spears was in a class with one of the victims, Lavel. She said, “This entire situation has been extremely surreal and heartbreaking. It’s absolutely devastating to know that he won’t be in class sitting across from me anymore. “While many students may not have personally known Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry, and Davis Jr., “There was a bigger connection that every student seemed to have with the players,” said Wassmer.

Other universities nationwide have posted tributes and messages of support. Several college and NFL teams recently
wore the UVA logo. Also, the New England Patriots lent the UVA football team their team jet so that the players could travel
together to attend the victims’ funerals.

“The community also has come together a lot to make it feel safe again. The focus lately hasn’t been much on
assignments but rather coping and healing,” said Thompson.

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