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'More than just football players' | Remembering victims of UVA shooting

After the two-hour-long service, one thing is for sure: Devin Chandler, D'Sean Perry, and Lavel Davis Jr. were much more than just football players.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The pain and heartache are still fresh nearly one week since the deadly shooting on The University of Virginia grounds.

Despite an email threat earlier Saturday, thousands of people in Charlottesville gathered undeterred to honor the three football players killed and support the two students hurt.

After the two-hour-long service, one thing is for sure: Devin Chandler, D'Sean Perry, and Lavel Davis Jr. were much more than just athletes.

"They were much more than just football players... They were kind, they were funny, they were full of energy, they were serious students," UVA President Jim Ryan said in part. 

"We are better and we will do better because of Devin, Lavel and D’Sean. " said UVA Director of Athletics Dr. Carla Williams. 

Family members of the shooting victims watched as teammates and friends shared fond memories of the three men. Tears, and at times laughter, filled the arena.

“Even though I am two years older than Lavel, I looked up to him… literally,” joked teammate Jared Rayman.

“He was a glass-half-full kind of person. His smile always lit up the room. D’Sean was special that way,” said teammate Josh McCarron. 

“All I have to say is Devin is a special person. He brought light and joy to everybody,” said teammate Lorenz Terry.

Speakers also honored another football player and one student who were hurt in the shooting too. They praised them for their resilience and wished them a safe recovery. 

“We pray for their continued healing," Dr. Williams said. 

There's no denying that this tragedy will leave an empty hole in Charlottesville.

While the road to healing will be long, the community is determined to keep the players' legacies alive.

“The world is a better place because of them. Going forward, I am confident that all three are rejoicing in paradise, speaking good things on behalf of each of us in preparation for the time we’ll be together again," UVA Head Football Coach Tony Elliott.

The alleged shooter, UVA student Christopher Jones Jr., sits in jail without bond. He's set to appear in Albemarle County Court again on December 8.

You can watch the full vigil below:

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