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Marshall football player paralyzed protecting girlfriend in Maryland shooting

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SEVERN, Md. – The mother of a Marshall University football player shot at a New Year’s party in Maryland says he is paralyzed.

News outlets report redshirt freshman defensive tackle Larry Aaron was one of two people struck by gunfire at a house party in Severn early Monday morning. Anne Arundel police spokesman Marc Limansky says it doesn’t appear Aaron was the intended target of the shooting.

Aaron’s mother, Melissa Aaron, told The Herald-Dispatch the bullet lodged in the Columbia native’s spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. She says doctors cannot operate, at the risk of doing more damage.

His family tells WBAL that Aaron was struck by a bullet after a fight broke out near him and he used his body to shield his girlfriend.

“He was standing up against the wall with his girlfriend and two guys got into an argument, and they just started shooting. And my son stepped in front of his girlfriend to shield her, and one of the bullets got him,” said Larry Aaron, Sr., Aaron’s father.

Police estimate there were more than 100 people at the party. No suspects have been named.

Marshall University Head Football Coach Doc Holliday expressed support for Aaron on Twitter .

A 17-year-old also was shot in the arm.