A victim of the University of Virginia shooting that left three students dead and at least one other injured is showing signs of progress on his long road to recovery.

According to Michael Hollins Jr.’s mother, Brenda Hollins, her son “will hopefully begin taking steps” today (Nov. 17). Last Sunday (Nov. 13), Mike, three of his football teammates, and another student were shot on a charter bus after returning from a class trip to Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, Brenda recounted Mike’s harrowing encounter with the suspected shooter, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. She said her son initially thought someone was popping balloons when he first heard shots ring out, but he quickly realized that was not the case. Mike then ordered the driver to stop the bus as he urged classmates to follow him off.

Brenda said her son noticed not all of the students fled with him, so he went to help them. “He said, ‘Mom, I went back. I needed to do something. I was going to beat on the windows because no one else was coming off the bus,’” recalled Brenda.

Mike took things a step further when he decided to enter the bus in hopes of helping his remaining classmates. “The only thing he remembers is that he tried to turn, but he saw him lift the gun. He felt his back get hot, and he ran,” said Brenda.

While her son is a victim of the horrific incident, he is much more than that. She told ESPN, “His classmates are grateful for him because they said he saved their lives. He was the first off the bus and told two of his classmates to run, and he went back.”

Jones, who was a walk-on football player, was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, two counts of malicious wounding, and additional gun-related charges. On Wednesday (Nov. 16), he was denied bond in first court appearance.

Mike’s teammates who were killed were identified as Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry, and Level Davis Jr. The fifth victim, Marlee Morgan, is said to be in stable condition.

ESPN’s report is below.