CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WAVY) — Three University of Virginia football players were killed and two others were injured following a shooting on Grounds Sunday evening.
Classes were canceled Monday and Tuesday, but will resume Wednesday, according to UVA President James Ryan.
During an 11 a.m. news conference Monday, university officials announced that the suspect, identified as UVA student Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., 22, was taken into custody after a manhunt that lasted more than 12 hours. A Virginia State Police captain whispered the information to UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. while he was speaking.
“Just give me a moment to thank God, breathe a sigh of relief,” Chief Longo said after learning Jones was in custody.
Henrico Police confirm they arrested Jones without incident just before 11 a.m. in the 5700 block of Edgelawn Street.
Longo said Jones was facing three counts of second-degree murder and using a handgun in the commission of a felony, but that his charges could be upgraded.
WAVY is hearing Jones’ first court appearance will take place Wednesday morning on these charges.
According to the university, which is located in Charlottesville, the shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. Sunday on Grounds. UVA Police issued the first alert via email and social media almost immediately, with numerous alerts to follow, advising the community to shelter in place. The shelter in place order was lifted around 10:30 a.m. Monday.
The school said the shooting happened on a charter bus full of students, returning from a field trip to Washington, D.C.
WAVY’s Julie Millet arrived on campus Monday to find police tape around the Culbreth Road parking garage and officers looking into one of the buses parked outside.
All three were members of the football team. The families of all the victims have been notified.
University officials said Perry and Chandler died on the bus. Davis died at the hospital. They were among about 25 students on the bus.
WAVY has confirmed the name of one of the two other players injured and in the hospital. He is running back and UVA Junior Mike Hollins.
The UVA Athletics website lists Jones as part of the university’s football team, but only states that he didn’t play any games in 2018. At this time, it’s unclear what his overall involvement was on the team. He is not listed on the current roster.
In a letter from UVA President Jim Ryan, he said, “One of our students, Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. is suspected to have committed the shooting.”
During Monday’s briefing, Longo stated that Jones name “came to the attention of the University of Virginia’s threat assessment team” this fall, after someone notified the Office of Student Affairs that Jones talked about having a gun, although that person never saw the gun.
All classes were canceled for Monday and in a Tuesday afternoon email, UVA’s president wrote, “In order to give our students the opportunity to reflect, mourn, and gather with each other, no classes or formal academic activities will take place tomorrow [Nov. 15]. We have also asked deans and, through them, the faculty to be as flexible as possible with respect to students, assignments, and attendance.”
Aaron Faumui, a senior member of the football team, tells 10 On Your Side the team had a meeting after Monday night’s shooting.
“I just want to say they were three great men, men on their way to become great,” Faumui said.
UVA head football coach Tony Elliott shared a statement Monday afternoon, saying in part “these were incredible young men with huge aspirations and extremely bright futures.” You can read the full statement here.
UVA Athletic Director Carla Williams shared this statement: “As a mother of three children, I ache for the parents and family members. We lost three talented and bright young men. We will never see what their impact on the world would have been, but we will never forget their impact on us. I miss Lavel, D’Sean and Devin. I pray for peace, comfort and hope for their parents and loved ones. For their teammates, coaches and friends, I pray for strength and a peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Counseling and psychological services are available 24 hours a day for any students who may need them. Please call 434-243-5150. Faculty and staff who are in need of counseling can use the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program by calling 434-243-2643 or by emailing the office using the FEAP website.
UVA Emergency Management tweeted that a Family and Community Assistance Center has been set up to provide mental health services. It is located at the corner of Edgemont and McCormick.
UVA President Jim Ryan said he is heartbroken.
“We are working closely with the families of the victims, and we will share additional details as soon as we are able,” said Ryan. “This is a message any leader hopes to never have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia.”
Flags will also fly at half-staff on Tuesday in Virginia in memory of the victims, Youngkin announced Monday night.
Also Sunday, four University of Idaho students were discovered dead in a home near campus. The Moscow, Idaho Police Department is calling the deaths homicides, although the cause and manner of their deaths has not been released.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.