Love and support have been pouring in from across the nation for a local college football player shot in the back on New Year's Eve.

His parents said Larry Aaron, III, a Marshall University redshirt sophomore, is paralyzed and is unlikely ever to play football again.

"We're just scared...I am scared to death what the future holds," said his father, Larry Aaron, II. He and his wife, Melissa Aaron, have spent the last eight days at their son's bedside at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

They've been there almost non-stop since the New Year's Eve phone call that their son had been shot in the back at a party in Anne Arundel County while trying to shield his girlfriend.

"I was in shock, upset; I didn't know what to think, what to believe. I was just devastated," said Melissa Aaron.

The bullet lodged in the middle of the defensive tackle's spine, leaving him unable to move his legs.

And doctors said they could not remove it.

The Aarons said their son is struggling. He was so happy when he got a football scholarship to Marshall University in West Virginia. Now he's on a waiting list for a rehabilitation bed.

"Some days when his friends come by, he perks up a little. But then when reality kicks in, and he's just laying in bed, it gets very sad. I know it's hard on him. As a father and mother, it's just tearing us up. Just tearing us up," said his father.

The Howard County community, where Larry played football at Oakland Mills High, has rallied around him. So have people around the country, who've contributed more than $25,000 so far to a Go Fund Me page.

But his parents fear their tough, athletic son may now never be able to care for himself again. "I just want him to walk again. I'm not worried about football. I just want him to be happy and enjoy his life," said his mother.

A whole lot of people are rooting for him.

Anne Arundel County Police said they are still looking for leads to help them find the shooter.

They are pleading with anyone with pictures, video or social media from the party to share those things with investigators.