The University of Virginia canceled classes Tuesday as it “continues to deal with the emotional toll” of Sunday’s shooting that left three footballers at the school dead and two others injured.
The shooting sparked a manhunt lasting several hours stretching from Sunday evening to Monday morning. It ended when the suspected shooter, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was arrested in Henrico County, about 80 miles east of Charlottesville. Jones faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo said Monday. Sr.
Police did not offer a motive for the attack.
The three players who died in the shooting have been identified as wide receivers Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. as well as linebacker D’Sean Perry, according to the university.
Two other students were also injured, but only one of them – Michael Hollins – has been identified. The two injured students are being treated at UVA Medical Center, one in critical condition and the other in good condition, UVA spokesman Brian Coy said, declining to name them.
A wave of support – both local and national – swept through Charlottesville after the news broke on Monday. The school held a candlelight vigil Monday, drawing hundreds to campus, according to a photo tweeted from the school’s football team.
Rival Virginia Tech’s women’s basketball team wore “#HokiesforHoos” shirts on Monday.
The University of Wisconsinwhere Chandler previously performed, released a statement saying their program was “deeply saddened” by the tragic deaths.
“This is a difficult time for the players and staff due to the lasting impact Devin has had on his friends and teammates,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and the Virginia football family.”
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about the shooting shortly after being sworn in as a new ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday.
“It’s tragic,” Harris said. “Of course our prayers are with the families of the victims and it is yet another constant reminder that we need to do better in terms of gun safety laws in our country.”
At least 68 shootings have taken place this year in American schools, including 15 on college campuses, with at least one person shot dead in each case, not including the shooter. The deadliest school shooting in modern US history remains the 2007 attack at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, where a 23-year-old student killed 32 people before killing himself.
The Charlottesville campus shooting is also one of nearly 600 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which like CNN counts cases in which at least four people are shot, to exclusion of the shooter.
Filming at UVA took place on Sunday as a class returned from a trip to Washington, DC. The class had seen a play, university officials said, and it was not immediately clear whether Jones was part of that class or attended the field trip.
Police responded to a report of shots being fired around 10:30 p.m. in an area near a car park on Culbreth Road and surrounded by university buildings, university president Jim Ryan said. Two slain victims were inside the bus, the third victim was taken to hospital, where she died, said Longo, the school’s police chief.
The call triggered a shelter-in-place alert that was lifted about 12 hours later, Longo said. More than 500 people took shelter in campus buildings, including libraries and classrooms, he said.
Classes at UVA and Charlottesville city schools were canceled Monday following the shooting.
Authorities launched a manhunt for Jones after Sunday’s attack. Then, around 11 a.m. ET on Monday, an Henrico County police officer spotted the vehicle Jones was driving in the east area of the county where he was “arrested without incident,” according to a news release from the division of the county. police.
Jones is listed on the UVA Athletics website as a football player in 2018 who, as a rookie, did not appear in any games. He attended Varina High School and Petersburg High School, where he played football as a linebacker and running back, according to his college athletic biography.
An UVA spokesperson told CNN Jones had a pre-existing injury that kept him out of the football team in 2018. Jones underwent medical treatment and rehabilitation during his time with the team. and was only a member of the team for one season, the spokesperson says.
The spokesperson did not provide details about Jones’ injury.
Jones had already been on the radar of campus authorities. In September, authorities discovered that Jones “made a gun possession comment” to someone “unaffiliated with the university,” Longo said at Monday’s news conference. But that person never saw the weapon in question, he said.
“During the Threat Assessment Team investigation, we learned that a prior criminal incident involving a concealed weapon violation occurred outside of the City of Charlotteville in February 2021” , Longo said, adding that the suspect was supposed to report the incident to the university but never did. The school’s judicial council has taken up the case and the results are awaited.
Jones was also involved in a campus hazing investigation that was closed because witnesses were uncooperative, Longo said.
All three victims and one of the two injured were confirmed to be UVA football players.
Lavel Davis Jr., a junior from South Carolina, has been one of the Virginia Cavaliers’ best wide receivers this season. As a 6-foot-7 receiver, Davis was the team’s main deep threatwith 16 catches for 371 yards and two touchdowns on the year, good for a stellar 23.2 yards per catch.
D’Sean Perry, a junior linebacker, has played in 15 games over the past three seasons. Saturday against Pittsburgh, he had two tackles in the 37-7 loss. In a statement through their attorney, Michael Haggard, Perry’s parents thanked the South Florida and Charlottesville communities for the support they have received since the shooting.
Devin Chandler, a junior wide receiver and kick returner, had recently transferred to UVA this offseason from the University of Wisconsin.
One of the two injured students has been identified as Michael Hollins, according to Andrew Martin, the head football coach at University Lab School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hollins is a junior running back for UVA, according to the team’s roster. CNN contacted Hollins’ family but did not receive a response.
Hollins’ father, Michael Hollins Sr., told The Washington Post that his son was shot in the back with the bullet lodged in his stomach. Hollins Sr. told the Post he should recover.
Hollins was due to graduate in December with a degree in entrepreneurship and African American history, her father told the Post.
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