What you should know
- Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, was arrested and charged with murder, according to a press conference held by the police at 11:00 a.m.
- In 2018, Jones was a freshman on the University of Virginia football team but did not appear in any games. Monday morning late
- The deceased victims were identified by campus officials as Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis, and D’Sean Perry. Officials did not identify the two injured students, but stated that one was in good condition and the other was in critical condition.
- Culbreth Road and the garage where gunfire was heard are located approximately a half mile north of the Lawn and the Rotunda. This is not the first time this year that a shooting has occurred on a Virginia college campus.
School authorities say police have arrested a student accused of fatally shooting three football players and injuring two others on the main campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville as a class bus returned from a field trip.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. is charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a pistol in the commission of a felony, UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. told reporters Monday morning as officials removed a lockdown order and ended a manhunt that lasted several hours.
UVA football players Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry were killed, according to university president Jim Ryan. One student is in critical condition and the other is in good health, he said, declining to identify them.
Ryan stated, “This is a terrible, frightening, and devastating day for our UVA community.” Please accept my sincere condolences for the victims and their families and friends.
Monday courses at the university and Charlottesville City Schools are canceled, the K-12 district informed families in a letter.
The shelter-in-place warning was issued around 10:40 p.m. after a shooting was reported on Culbreth Road, according to a tweet from the University of Virginia Police Department. In an early tweet, police listed the shooting location as a parking garage across the street from the university’s theatre building and a short distance from the band building, fine arts library, and architecture school.
The police have not provided a reason for the attack.
CNN reports that there have been at least 68 school shootings in the United States this year, including 15 on college campuses, with at least one victim per incident, excluding the gunman. A 23-year-old student killed 32 people before committing suicide in the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, which remains the bloodiest school shooting in modern American history.
The school massacre in Charlottesville is one of roughly 600 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which, like CNN, counts incidents in which at least four people are shot, excluding the perpetrator.
On UVA’s athletics website, the suspect is described as a football player in 2018 who did not play in any games as a freshman. According to his university athletics bio, Jones attended Varina High School and Petersburg High School, where he played football as a linebacker and running back. According to his CV, Jones was president of Key Club and a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society while in high school.
State Police of Virginia cooperating with local authorities
Monday morning, UVA students received an email from Robyn Hadley, vice president and chief student affairs officer, instructing them to “take the shelter in place directives seriously while the situation continues ongoing.”
“We have all gotten a number of alarming shelter-in-place messages,” Hadley said, adding that multiple police jurisdictions were searching for the individual. “Like many of you, I am on campus; I am sheltering in place and in direct contact with University administration and UPD… If you are not inside and safe, seek shelter immediately.”
Governor Glenn Youngkin of Virginia tweeted that he and his wife are praying for the school community and that the Virginia State Authorities are “completely collaborating” with school and local police.
Meanwhile, the University of Idaho is in shock as police announced a homicide investigation after discovering four bodies in a home just outside college boundaries in Moscow on Sunday. The fatalities were students, and the cause of their deaths is unknown at this time, according to the university, which also announced that the threat has ended.
The shooting on Sunday is the University of Virginia’s most recent high-profile encounter with violence: In August 2017, white nationalists marched across campus holding torches and yelling racist chants. A day later, protestors opposing Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee clashed with counterprotesters; one counterprotester was murdered when a man drove his car into a crowd; the driver is spending life in prison.
Five years ago, a UVA lacrosse player was found guilty and sentenced to 23 years in prison for the 2010 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, in her off-campus residence.