UVA rising football star, south Florida native D’sean Perry laid to rest

Miami Gardens, FLA – Family and friends of D’Sean Perry gathered for his funeral Saturday evening at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens.

“He deeply cared bout his family, wanted to make sure he put his best foot forward every time he stepped out of the door,” Earl Simms, Perry’s former high school football coach at Gulliver Prep, said.

Perry, 22, was a Miami native. He was one of three people killed in a shooting at the University of Virginia on Sunday, Nov. 13 around 10:30 p.m. while on a bus returning from a field trip with other UVA students after they had gone to see a play in Washington, D.C.

“Each time I look up to the sky and I see a star shining bright, I will forever be reminded of the light that D’Sean brought to my life,” Virginia football coach Tony Elliott said.

Perry’s coaches and friends described a determined, passionate young man, whose interests extended beyond the football field.

“He liked to not only play within in the play, he liked to play after the play. That makes life for coaches challenging sometimes. And yet, what more exemplary way to play the game, whereas, within the whistles, it’s just not enough, I would rather play a little longer,” former UVA Coach Branco Mendendhall said.

“I continued to hear his name associated with things like music, art, life, love,” Elliott said.

Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., is accused of killing Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr., all of who played football for the Cavaliers. Another football player, Mike Hollins, was seriously wounded after he was shot in the back. He was released from a Richmond, Va., hospital on Monday. A female was also wounded.

Jones was arrested in suburban Richmond after a manhunt that lasted almost 24 hours. He is being held without bond.

“Dear D, brother man, I miss you, writing this, I don’t know what to say, my heart heart huts without you brother, every time I close my eyes, I see your bid smile,” Sean Moore, a teammate and also a South Florida native, said.

A GoFundMe Page has been set up to help with the Perry family’s expenses by Bradley Smith, the owner of a Palmetto Bay barber shop.

Smith stated: “We watched him go from a little kid to a handsome young man with a full scholarship playing football at UVA.” Smith says on the gofundme page that Sean Perry would bring his son to the barbershop for “as long as I can remember.”

According to ESPN, all of the UVA football players plan to attend the funerals of the other two killed in the shooting.

The university has cancelled its final two football games of the season.

About the Authors:

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.

Yarden Ben-David has been a news producer at Local 10 News since March of 2021.