CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A 22-year-old student is in custody after three football players were killed, and two other students were injured in a shooting on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville Sunday night, according to UVA Police Chief Tim Longo. UVA student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. is facing multiple charges, including second-degree murder.
The campus had been under a shelter-in-place order for more than 12 hours, after multiple police agencies responded to a report of shots fired near Culbreth campus parking garage on Culbreth Road in Charlottesville around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. University President Jim Ryan said the shooting happened on a bus filled with about 25 students returning from a class field trip in D.C. to see a play. The motive behind the shooting remains unknown.
When Monday morning's press conference began, Chief Longo said officers were still scouring the campus grounds searching for Jones, who was believed to be "armed and dangerous." He had last been seen wearing a burgundy jacket, blue jeans and red shoes and driving a black SUV with Virginia tags TWX3580. During the press conference, Longo received an update and announced that Jones had been taken into custody by the Henrico Police in Richmond.
Longo said Jones would be charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony. Additional charges could be added, Longo said.
The chief noted that Jones had been on the radar of the University's threat assessment team since September, when the office of student affairs reported that a person unaffiliated with the school had told them Jones made comments about owning a gun, but said no threats had been made.
"The office of student affairs followed up with the reporting person and made efforts to contact Mr. Jones and in fact followed up with Mr. Jones' roommate who did not report seeing the presence of a weapon," Longo said.
Longo said the threat assessment team had also been aware of Jones due to a previous hazing investigation that had been closed due to uncooperative witnesses. During the investigation, the threat assessment team learned of a prior criminal incident involving in a concealed weapons violation that occurred outside Charlottesville in February 2021. The chief claims that Jones would be required to report that to the University, as a student, and that he never did.
"The University has taken appropriate administrative charges through the university's judiciary counsel and that matter is still pending adjudication," Longo said.
The three student athletes killed were identified Monday by Ryan as Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D'Sean Perry. The two others injured, one who remains in critical condition, were not identified to protect their privacy; they were being treated at the UVA Medical Center.
"We are working closely with the families of the victims and will share additional details as soon as we are able," Ryan said. "I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia."
As a result of the shooting, classes and all extracurricular activities at the university for Monday, Nov. 14, including a men's basketball game against Northern Iowa, were canceled Monday.
Student Jake Hecker was playing volleyball at a gym on campus when staff at the gym told him and others to stay where they are and locked the doors of the gym. The students were then taken to the basement of the gym to shelter in place, Hecker said.
"We were a little concerned but felt safe in the gym when they locked us down," Hecker said. "Something like this happening is something completely unexpected. We're all obviously shocked by all this. The fact that students are directly involved is not only surprising, but very saddening."
The UVA Community would come together to mourn those lost and honor their lives, Ryan said. "In the meantime, if you need help, especially our students, please don't hesitate to reach out to the resources listed in the email I sent out early this morning."
The University of Virgnia's Office of Emergency Managment has set up an emergency hotline at 877-685-4836 for family and friends who have questions regarding the event.
WATCH: Full press conference on Nov. 14, 2022 below:
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