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Guns and ammunition seized from Jones' UVa dormitory room

The student charged in the shooting deaths of three University of Virginia football players had a semi-automatic rifle, pistol, ammunition, magazines and a device used to make bullets fire faster in his on-Grounds dorm room, according to a search warrant inventory that the Daily Progress obtained.

After the three students were slain and two others injured Sunday night, special Agent B.D. Tuggle of the Virginia State Police obtained a search warrant to enter the Brandon Avenue dorm room of Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who once had been on the UVa football team.

What Tuggle allegedly then found in the room of the accused triple-murderer might have filled a duffel. The inventory included a Ruger AR-556, which is a semi-automatic rife, and a Smith & Wesson model 39 pistol—along with a pair of full or nearly full 30-round AR magazines, a box of Winchester .223 ammunition, and a pair of Glock 9-millimeter magazines.

Tuggle also seized a binary trigger, which unlike the better known and federally outlawed bump stock, is a federally legal device to increase the firing speed of a semi-automatic rifle. Virginia, however, appears to have outlawed them in 2020.

“Wow,” said Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook. “That’s an alarming collection. I’d certainly be concerned if somebody on my kid’s dorm had all those weapons.”

Bice House is a eight-story, brick-clad dormitory located at 853 Brandon Avenue, near the South Lawn precinct of the university.

The university forbids the possession of weapons or ammunition anywhere on its property by anyone other than licensed law enforcement. UVa Police Chief Tim Longo revealed during a Monday morning press conference that UVa’s Threat Assessment Team learned earlier in the semester that Jones talked of possessing a gun. However, Longo noted, neither the off-Grounds tipster nor Jones’s roommate ever saw a weapon, and Longo implied that the Office of Student Affairs unsuccessfully attempted to speak to Jones.

The owner of Dance’s Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights issued a press release Wednesday to tell the media that Jones legally purchased two guns this year, a Ruger AR-556 rifle and a Glock 45 9-millimeter pistol. Investigators have additionally said that a weapon was found near the scene of the shooting, which occurred on a bus on Culbreth Road.

Tuggle’s paperwork indicates that Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore signed off on the search warrant Monday at 8:20 a.m. and that Tuggle executed the search about an hour and a half later.

Other things that Tuggle seized from Jones’s apartment in Bice House included an optical sight, a red dot sight, fiberglass gloves, a buffer spring, holster, and a back strap. Among the items taken was a single 9-millimeter bullet.

The Virginia State Police announced Thursday morning that it was taking the lead in the multi-jurisdictional investigation.

The Sunday night shooting claimed the lives of three football players—Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. Two other students were wounded: Michael Hollins, who appears to be recovering from life-threatening injuries; and Marlee Morgan, who sustained non-life threatening injuries and has been discharged from the hospital.

Jones, whose 23rd birthday is Thursday, is being held without bond in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.


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