"Keep on working" – those were the last words that Sean Perry sent his son D'Sean Perry before he and two other University of Virginia football players wereon Sunday.
Perry's last text conversation with his son was on Saturday just before 9 p.m., after the Virginia Cavaliers lost to the Pittsburgh Panthers 37-7. Perry, a linebacker on the team, registered two solo tackles in the game.
"Everything good sir? Just checking up," Perry's father texted him after the game.
"Yea, you watched the game today?" the UVA junior responded.
The next day at about 6 p.m., Perry's father texted him a clip of Saturday's game in the fourth quarter, with some final words of encouragement to his son, "Keep on working."
Later that night at 11:17 p.m., the father texted once more, "Yo good up there?"
But that text was never answered. Perry was on a bus "full of students" near a campus parking garage when police responded to aat about 10:30 p.m.
D'Sean Perry, along with teammates Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr., were killed in the incident. Two other students were injured, and the suspect has been arrested and charged.
"I know my son was calling for help," Perry's father tweeted on Tuesday. "I couldn't help my son. I know he was calling somebody."
"God has the ultimate last word. D'Sean rest easy my [son]. Your journey here has been nothing [but] amazing son. We always knew you were special & God lend you to us. You definitely finished what you started out to do," he also tweeted.
The family has put out an official statement through their attorney, Michael Haggard.
"On behalf of D'Sean's parents, Happy and Sean Perry, and their entire family, we thank the South Florida and Charlottesville communities for the outpouring of support during this impossibly tragic time," Perry's family said in a statement through their attorney, Michael Haggard. "Right now, Happy and Sean will not speak publicly about the incident as their grief is only the beginning."
D'Sean Perry, who graduated from Gulliver Preparatory Academy in Miami, appeared in six games for UVA this season, making a career-high four tackles in September against Old Dominion, according to his school bio. In high school, he was named the South Florida Conference's 2018 Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2020, he returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown on the game's final play -- the second-longest return in program history by a linebacker.
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