By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Three months after someone opened fire inside a New Year’s Eve party, family and friends said goodbye to a college athlete injured in the shooting.

Larry Aaron was paralyzed and later released from the hospital before dying suddenly last week. The 19-year-old certainly made a stamp on Howard County as a standout high school football player.

Off the field, he was a son, brother and uncle.

Under gray, misty skies Friday, love and support rained down inside Bridgeway Community Church, where 2,000 people celebrated the life of Larry.

“A mild-mannered giant. A kind person. Someone that respects everybody,” cousin Gregory Aaron said.

Larry’s life was cut short with the pull of a trigger. Police say someone opened fire at a New Year’s Eve party. Larry was shielding his girlfriend when he was hit and paralyzed by a stray bullet.

He fought toward recovery. He even attended a fundraiser in his honor last month, before he died suddenly one week ago.

“This has been a tough time for the family. We’ve been on a roller coaster since January 1st,” his aunt Monique Rich said.

His teammates sat behind his family. They wore black and green, the colors of Marshall University, where he shined on the field.

“In 40 years plus of coaching football teams, I’ve never seen a young man be in a place for such a short period of time, and affect a football team like your son did,” Marshall University Head Coach Doc Holliday said to Larry’s parents.

Anne Arundel County police are investigating Larry’s death as a homicide. No arrests have been made.

Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information.

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