A University of Virginia (UVA) student has been arrested in connection to the shooting deaths of three football players. Two other UVA students were also wounded.
According to the school’s newspaper– the UVA Today, Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. allegedly shot and killed D’Sean Perry, a defensive end and linebacker from Miami; Lavel Davis Jr., a wide receiver from Ridgeville, South Carolina; and Devin Chandler, a wide receiver from Virginia Beach, on a charter bus as it returned from a class field trip from a play in Washington, on Sunday night. One of the wounded students remains in critical condition, while the other was reported to be in good condition. Perry and Chandler’s bodies were discovered on the bus. Davis passed away at a local hospital. Perry was a senior, Chandler– was a sophomore, and Davis– a junior.
Campus police revealed there were at least 25 UVA students on the charter bus at the time of the shooting.
Christopher had also played for UVA’s football team in the past, but it’s unclear if he was a passenger on the bus before allegedly opening fire. Campus police got reports of shots being fired near the school’s drama building. The UVA Emergency Management sent out advisories to students, administrators and school staff. Before Christopher was captured, students were notified to shelter in place until the person was apprehended. The warning was extended over 12 hours. Roughly 500 students were affected by the lockdown. Classes and a UVA basketball game were also canceled on Monday.
Later alerts disclosed Christopher’s name and photo, the clothes he wore and the license plate of the vehicle he was driving. He was caught early Monday morning.
University Police Chief Timothy Longo revealed the suspect had been caught during a Monday morning press conference.
“Thank God,” Longo said. “We have a sigh of relief.”
UVA President Jim Ryan expressed his sentiment on the “shocking and tragic” incident.
“This is a sad, shocking and tragic day for our UVA community,” Ryan said. “Let me say how deeply sorry I am for the victims and for their family and friends. This has been an unimaginably sad day for our community. The entire University community is grieving this morning. My heart is broken for the victims and their families and for all who knew and loved them.”
During a news conference, Longo advised that Christopher faces three counts of second-degree murder and a count of using a firearm in the commission of a crime. He also explained that the charges could be escalated if “certain facts and circumstances arise.”
The chief also revealed that Christopher had sounded warnings.
“Mr. Jones came to the attention of the University of Virginia’s threat assessment team” first in the fall of 2022, Longo said.
An unidentified person reached out to the Office of Student Affairs about Christopher talking about having a weapon. The chief later confirmed that although the claim of a gun was made– the person didn’t see him with a weapon, nor was it reported that Christopher had a gun.
Longo also disclosed that Christopher was allegedly part of a hazing claim and that he’d been previously charged with having a concealed weapon that was not revealed to UVA.
Counseling services are being provided to UVA students who need support following the tragic shooting death.
“We need to comfort and support each other and those closest to the victims of this horrendous shooting,” Ryan said. “Please know we will do everything we can to honor their lives. And we’ll come together soon as a community to mourn these losses.”