Suspect caught in fatal shooting of 3 U.Va. football players – Local Daily
By SARAH RANKIN (Associated Press)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Police captured a University of Virginia student suspected of fatally shooting three members of the school’s football team on Monday as they returned to campus from an outing. in the field.
The violence that also injured two students erupted near a parking lot and sent the campus into an overnight lockdown as police searched for the shooter.
Officials learned at a mid-morning press conference that the suspect, 22-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., had been arrested.
“Just give me a moment to thank God, breathe a sigh of relief,” University Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said after learning Jones was in custody.
The shooting happened just after 10:15 p.m. Sunday as a charter bus full of college students was returning from a play in Washington.
University President Jim Ryan said authorities do not have a “full understanding” of the motive or circumstances surrounding the shooting.
“The entire university community is in mourning this morning,” Ryan said, visibly strained. “My heart is broken for the victims and their families and for all who knew and loved them.”
Ryan identified the three students who were killed as: Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. He added that one of the injured students was hospitalized in critical condition and the other was in good condition.
The shooting sparked an intense manhunt, with authorities conducting a building-by-building search of campus while students sheltered in place for more than 12 hours. The containment order was lifted late Monday morning.
Police obtained arrest warrants for Jones charging him with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, Longo said.
Jones had played on the soccer team before, but he hadn’t been on the team for at least a year, Longo said.
Jones came to the attention of the university’s threat assessment team this fall after someone unaffiliated with the school reported a remark Jones allegedly made about possessing a firearm. fire,” Longo said.
No threats were reported along with the concern about the weapon, but officials looked into it, following up with Jones’ roommate.
Longo also said Jones had been involved in a “hazing investigation of some kind.” He said he did not have the full facts and circumstances of the case, although he said the investigation was closed after witnesses failed to cooperate.
Additionally, officials learned of an earlier incident outside of Charlottesville involving a weapons violation, Longo said. This incident was not reported to the university as it should have been, he said.
Eva Surovell, editor of student newspaper The Cavalier Daily, said after students received an active shooter alert late Sunday night, she ran to the parking lot but saw it was blocked by the police. When she drove to a nearby intersection, she was told to shelter in place.
“I was told by a policeman that the shooter was nearby and that I had to get home as soon as possible,” she said.
She waited with other reporters, hoping for additional details, then returned to her room to begin working on the story. The gravity of the situation was obvious.
“My generation is certainly the one that grew up with widespread gun violence, but that doesn’t make it any easier when it comes to your own community,” she said.
Elsewhere, police in Moscow, Idaho, were investigating the deaths of four University of Idaho students found Sunday in a house near campus.
Officers discovered the deaths when responding to a report of an unconscious person, authorities said.