The suspect in a shooting that killed three University of Virginia football players while injuring two other students at the University of Virginia is in custody after a more than 12-hour manhunt Monday morning.
The suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., was apprehended in Henrico County. Jones is a UVa student. And while many mass shootings appear to be random events on people the shooters do not know, the shootings Sunday night were different because Jones knew at least some of the men he shot.
Jones, who was once on the football team roster, is suspected of killing Devin Chandler, a second-year student from Virginia Beach; Lavel Davis Jr., a third-year student from Ridgeville, South Carolina; and D’Sean Perry, a fourth-year student from Miami, Florida.
Two other students, whose names are not being made public at this time to protect their privacy, were wounded and are being treated for injuries at the UVa Medical Center, UVa President Jim Ryan confirmed. One injured victim is in good condition, and the other is in critical condition, said Ryan, who visited the student in good condition early Monday morning.
Jones is currently facing charges for three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.
Jones caught the attention of the UVa Police Department Threat Assessment team earlier this year when his name appeared in a hazing investigation, according to UVa Police chief Tim Longo. During the investigation, police found that Jones had been charged with having a concealed weapon in February, 2021. According to Longo, the hazing investigation was closed because witnesses would not cooperate.
In high school in Richmond, Jones was an honor student, president of the Key Club and member of the National Honor Society. He was on the roster of the University of Virginia football team in 2018.
UVa Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer Robyn Hadley confirmed that earlier this fall, Student Affairs told UVa police that Jones told someone unaffiliated with the university that he had a gun. Jones’ roommate told police that he had never actually seen the gun, according to Longo.
On Sunday around 10:30 p.m. UVa police responded to a call of shots fired coming from the Culbreth Garage area, Longo said, very near the practice field for the UVa marching band and two fraternity houses.
University police sent its first digital alert about the shooting to UVa Alerts subscribers at 10:56 p.m. on Sunday, notifying them that a shooter who had opened fire in or near the garage had not been apprehended. One of the alerts warned people not to approach the shooter if they saw him, as he was considered armed and dangerous.
The shootings happened on a charter bus full of UVa students returning from a field trip to see a play at a theater in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. University officials have not confirmed whether Jones was in the class.
The digital alert also marked the beginning of the shelter-in-place order that began on Sunday night and ended at 10:33 a.m. on Monday. Chief Longo said that more than 3,500 students took shelter off of UVa grounds until the order was lifted.
Police have not yet determined a motive for the attack.
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