The daughter of former NFL player Al Toon, Molly Lillard was murdered in what police believe was a murder-suicide by her husband last Sunday at the couple’s home in Arizona. Lillard was discovered suffering from gunshot wounds in front of the home according to AZ Central. She was taken to the hospital where she passed away from her injuries. Lillard’s husband, Royce Dale Lillard III was barricaded in the home. Police were unable to talk to the 36-year-old and the SWAT team entered the home. Lillard was found with a self-inflicted gunshot.
Police discovered the couple’s 8-month-old infant inside, unharmed. The news outlet reported the baby is now being taken care of by family. Lillard and her husband had only been married for two years.
“For several hours officers attempted to establish communication with the male with no success,” Officer Kevin Watts said according to the Middleton Times-Tribune. “At approximately 10:45 p.m. SWAT officers were able to make entry into the home where the male suspect was discovered deceased from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
“At this point in the investigation all indications are that this was a murder-suicide,” he continued. Lillard was a 2010 graduate of Middleton High School where she played varsity volleyball. While in high school she led her team to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament in both 2008 and 2009. She was a two-time captain and played collegiately at the University of Michigan according to the Times-Tribune.
“I am in absolute shock,” Laura (McGinnis) Wilkinson a former volleyball teammate of Molly told the news outlet. “Molly was such a good person, such a light in this world. It feels like things like this shouldn’t happen to good people.”
“I really looked up to Molly both on and off the court,” she added. “On the court, the thing I will remember the most about Molly is how she was such a strong leader, so mature, tough and inspirational. She was able to shake off anything and keep pushing us all to be our best. Off the court, she was so light-hearted, had an infectious energy and laugh and was so hard working at everything she did.”
Lillard’s high school coach Franco Marcos shared a statement with the Times-Tribune.
“I coached her all the way back in club when she was 13 and the one thing that stands out is just how great Molly and her entire family were,” Marcos said. “They were always so great and supportive.”
“She was definitely a really aggressive player and very determined,” Marcos added. “She had a ‘get me the ball’ attitude and she knew what to do with it. When it was crunch time, she wanted the ball.”