University of Illinois linebacker Trulon Henry will shift from energizing his teammates on the field to cheering for them from sidelines.
Henry arrived at a house early Sunday morning to encourage his Fighting Illini teammates to leave the party across the street from a campus dorm in Urbana. Then, gunfire broke out. The gunman shot into a crowded patio hitting Henry and two men from Chicago suburbs. Neither of the unidentified men were University of Illinois students, according to a campus spokesperson.
“Someone called and told me one of the younger guys got beat up and needed a ride home,” Henry told the Chicago Tribune. “I was only there for three minutes. I was trying to get everyone in the car. (Someone) started shooting. It’s crazy.”
Urbana police described that someone as a black man in his 20s with dreadlocks wearing a dark coat. He was last seen driving away in a silver Dodge Charger with black racing stripes.
Henry, a married father of a 2-year-old girl, underwent surgery Sunday. The bullet entered his right wrist leaving out of ring finger. The damaged included a ruptured artery and broken bones, he said.
Doctors told him it would take up to eight weeks for his hand to heal and another eight weeks for rehabilitation, the paper reports.
That’s sidelining him from the last two regular season games.
The 27-year-old linebacker has worked to turn his life around after serving five years in prison for armed robbery. Henry admitted he made a mistake trying to save his family’s Washington D.C. home that way.
He played football at the College of DuPage before following the footsteps of his younger brother, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Arrelious Benn, who was a Fighting Illini.