University of Virginia Shooting: Gunman in Custody After Killing Three Football Players

University of Virginia Shots - Credit: Mike Kropf/The Daily Progress/AP
University of Virginia Shots - Credit: Mike Kropf/The Daily Progress/AP

A University of Virginia student, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., has been arrested in connection to a parking garage shooting that left three dead, and two injured at the university on Sunday night.

During a press conference on Monday, UVA President Jim Ryan said the three deceased victims were all members of the UVA football team: Devin Chandler, a second-year from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Lavel Davis Jr., a third-year student from Richville, South Carolina, and D’Sean Perry, a fourth-year student from Miami, Florida.

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“Two other students were wounded and are being treated for injuries at the UVA Medical Center,” Ryan said. “One is in good condition one is in critical condition.”

One of the two injured students was identified as Michael Hollins, according to Andrew Martin, the head football coach at the University Lab School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, CNN reported. According to the team’s roster, Hollins is a junior at UVA and is a running back for school’s football team. Hollins’ father, Michael Hollins Sr., told the Washington Post that his son is expected to recover.

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo announced that Jones had been apprehended and was in police custody during the press conference. Jones is a former University of Virginia football player who, as a freshman, did not participate in any games.

“The bodies … were found inside a charter bus where they had been for the day enjoying the school activities, having a meal together, and coming back to our grounds,” Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said during the press conference.” Someone amongst them chose to do an act of violence, and we found them dead inside that bus.”

Longo added: “[Jones] is charged him with three counts of second-degree murder, and we charged him with three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.”

“Around 10:30 p.m. last night, there was a shooting on Grounds. One of our students, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., is suspected to have committed the shooting. The suspect remains at large and is considered armed and dangerous. Multiple law enforcement agencies are coordinating to find and apprehend him,” Ryan shared in a letter to the university community late Sunday night. “As of this writing, I am heartbroken to report that the shooting has resulted in three fatalities; two additional victims were injured and are receiving medical care. We are working closely with the families of the victims, and we will share additional details as soon as we are able.”

On Twitter, UVA Police Department shared that “multiple police agencies, including VA state police helicopter are actively searching for the suspect.” Multiple university outlets have reported the suspect as having last been seen in a burgundy jacket, blue jeans, and red shoes. His vehicle, a black SUV, reportedly has Virginia tags.”

A shelter-in-place order remained in effect until 10:30 a.m. Monday morning. Police increased their presence on campus for a full search of university grounds. All classes have been canceled.

During the press conference, Longo said Jones had previously been investigated by UVA’s threat assessment team after he was reported for allegedly owning a gun.

“Mr. Jones came to the attention of the University of Virginia’s threat assessment team In the fall of 2022. Back in September 2022, our Office of Student Affairs reported to the multidisciplinary threat assessment team that Mr. Jones, they received information, that Mr. Jones had made a comment about possessing a gun to a person that was unaffiliated with the university. That reporting person, again unaffiliated with the university, to the best of our knowledge, never saw the gun. The comment about Mr. Jones owning a gun was not made in conjunction with any threats.”

At the time, Longo said the Office of Student Affairs followed up with Jones and his roommate, who did not report ever seeing a gun in Jones’ possession.

He added: “Mr. Jones also had come to the potential threat assessment team because he was involved in a hazing investigation of some sort. I don’t know the facts and circumstances of that investigation. I know that it was eventually closed due to witnesses that would not cooperate with the process.”

Per The Associated Press, an alert was issued on Sunday night by the university’s emergency management warning of an “active attacker firearm” on Culbreth Road, located on the northern edge of UVA.

“This is a message any leader hopes never to have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia. This is a traumatic incident for everyone in our community,” Ryan wrote.

“I am holding the victims, their families, and all members of the University of Virginia community in my heart today, and we will make plans to come together as a community to grieve as soon as the suspect is apprehended.”

Following news of the shooting, The White House issued a statement on behalf of President Biden.

“The President and First Lady are mourning with the University of Virginia community after yet another deadly shooting in America has taken the lives of three young people,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences are with the countless families, friends, and neighbors grieving for those killed, as well as those injured in this senseless shooting. Administration officials are in close contact with state and local officials, and we are grateful for those authorities’ swift response to this attack.”

The killings come amid a tragic wave of mass shootings during the last six months, including a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead; a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb that killed seven and wounded dozens more; and a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 people and wounded three.

This story was updated on 11/14 at 11:10 am ET with the victim’s identities and additional information from the press conference.

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