UPDATE: 3 Dead, 2 Injured in University of Virginia Shooting
The three deceased victims have been identified as UVA football players.
New details have emerged in the shooting deaths of three University of Virginia (UVA) football players.
The shooter, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was on a bus returning from a class field trip when he shot and killed classmates and former teammates Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry. A witness said Jones shot Chandler while he was sleeping, reports CNN.
Another witness, Ryan Lynch told CBS News she saw Jones push one of the victims.
“Chris got up and pushed Lavel,” Lynch said. “After he pushed him, he was like ‘You guys are always messing with me.’ Said something weird like that, but it was very bizarre because they didn’t talk to him the whole trip.”
In addition to three counts of second-degree murder, Jones is now facing two counts of malicious wounding for injuring students Marlee Morgan and Michael Hollins. Without specifying which individual, UVA Health spokesperson Eric Swensen said one of the victims is in fair condition while the other has been released.
Jones was denied bail Wednesday during a court hearing in Charlottesville. During the hearing, attorney James Hingeley revealed Jones had previously been convicted on a misdemeanor charge of having a concealed weapon in Chesterfield on June 10, 2021. He was fined $100 and given a 12-month suspended sentence. A judge also issued a three-year good behavior bond and ordered Jones to forfeit the firearm.
At the time of that arrest, Jones also had outstanding warrants on misdemeanor hit-and-run property damage and reckless driving charges in Petersburg from 2021. He was convicted on Oct. 28, 2021, but the judge also issued a 12-month suspended sentence on each of the charges.
Marlon Dance, owner of Dance’s Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights, said Jones bought two guns from his store this year, including a semiautomatic rifle and a pistol. Dance said Jones also tried twice unsuccessfully to buy a firearm there. In 2018, he was under the legal age to buy a handgun and was denied the purchase. On July 8, 2021, he tried to buy a rifle but failed a background check.
In an email to CNN, Virginia State Police Spokesperson Corinne Geller said an investigation into the second attempted purchase revealed the state police firearms transaction center denied Jones’ request based on an ongoing legal matter.
“The pending charge was reduced to a misdemeanor by the court in October 2021, thereby removing the prohibition against future purchases,” she said.
A case status hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8.
ORIGINAL POST 11/14/22
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Classes are canceled again Tuesday after three students were killed and two others were injured in a shooting Sunday night at the University of Virginia (UVA).
The suspect, identified as 22-year-old student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was taken into custody late Monday morning after a manhunt that lasted more than 12 hours, reports Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Around 11 a.m. Monday, a police officer with Henrico County, which is about 80 miles east of Charlottesville, spotted the vehicle Jones was driving and took him into custody without incident. Jones has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun to commit a felony.
The three deceased victims have been identified as UVA football players Devin Chandler, a junior wide receiver and kick returner, Lavel Davis Jr., a junior wide receiver, and D’Sean Perry, a junior linebacker and defensive end. Two of the players were found deceased on the bus while the third was taken to a hospital where he died.
The two wounded students are also UVA football players, a source tells Fox News. They are being treated at UVA Medical Center with one in critical condition and the other in good condition.
One of the victims has been identified as Michael Hollins, a junior running back. His father, Michael Hollins Sr., told The Washington Post his son was shot in the back with the bullet lodged in his stomach but is expected to recover.
The shooting occurred on a charter bus in the Culbreth parking garage on campus around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. The students were returning from a class field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C. when Jones opened fire and fled.
Students were issued a shelter-in-place alert around 10:40 p.m. and the campus was placed on lockdown. Classes were canceled Monday as multiple law enforcement agencies searched for Jones, and Charlottesville City Schools were also closed “out of an abundance of caution.”
The shelter-in-place order was lifted around 10:30 a.m. Monday following a “thorough search on and around Grounds,” UVA Emergency Management tweeted.
Shooter Was Ex-UVA Football Player, Known to Campus Authorities
Jones was listed on the school’s football team in 2018 but did not appear in any games due to a pre-existing injury. A UVA spokesperson told CNN Jones went through medical treatment and rehabilitation during his one season on the team.
The announcement of Jones’ apprehension was made in the middle of a scheduled press conference to update the media on the investigation. During the conference, UVA Police Chief Tim Longo said Jones was known to the school’s threat assessment team.
In Sept. 2022, UVA’s Office of Student Affairs reported to the threat assessment team that an individual not associated with UVA claimed Jones made a comment about possessing a gun. However, the comment was not made in conjunction with any threats.
The team spoke with Jones’ roommate who did not report seeing a firearm. Longo said the team had also investigated Jones’ alleged involvement in a hazing incident but the case was dropped due to uncooperative witnesses.
At some point during its investigation, the threat assessment team learned of a prior criminal incident involving Jones and a concealed weapons violation in Feb. 2021. The university requires students to report prior criminal violations but Jones did not do so, said Longo.
Before attending UVA, Jones graduated from Petersburg High School after spending three years at Varina High School, where he was named Student of the Year as a freshman and a sophomore.