CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — After a deadly shooting kept the University of Virginia campus under a shelter-in-place order for a harrowing 12 hours late Sunday into Monday morning, a 22-year-old student is being charged in the deaths of three of his classmates.
UVA student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. is facing multiple charges, including second-degree murder, after he allegedly shot and killed three football players on a charter bus near a parking garage that had returned to campus from a class field trip to Washington, D.C. Two other students were injured in the shooting, one of whom remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.
According to UVA Police Chief Tim Longo, Jones was already on the police's radar before Sunday's shooting. Jones had previously been investigated by the University for allegations of gun possession and a hazing incident.
In September, UVA's Office of Student Affairs reported to the university's threat assessment team that they had received information from someone outside the university about Jones possessing a gun. The reporting person, Longo said, did not actually see the gun, and Jones' comment about owning a gun was not made in conjunction with any threats.
The Office of Student Affairs followed up with the reporting person and made efforts to contact Jones, as well as his roommate, who did not report seeing a weapon in their room, or on Jones, Longo said.
Jones was also involved in a hazing investigation "of some sort" on campus, but Longo said he was not aware of the details of the case. It was ultimately closed due to "uncooperative witnesses," Longo said.
Through the course of their investigation, the UVA Police Department learned about a prior criminal incident from February 2021 involving Jones and a concealed weapon that happened outside the City of Charlottesville. As a student, Jones would have been required to report that to the University, which Longo said never happened.
"The University has taken appropriate administrative charges through the university's judiciary counsel and that matter is still pending adjudication," Longo said.
Jones is listed on UVA's football roster page from 2018, but he did not appear in any games. He played linebacker at Petersburg High School in his senior year, after transferring from Varina High School. His bio says he was a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, president of Key Club, president of Jobs for Virginia Grads Program and was named Student of the Year as a freshman and sophomore.
The three student-athletes killed were identified Monday morning as Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D'Sean Perry. The two other students shot were treated at the UVA medical center, and their names have not yet been released.
"These were incredible young men with huge aspirations and extremely bright futures," UVA Football Coach Tony Elliott said in a statement. "Our hearts ache for their families, their classmates and their friends ... They touched us, inspired us and worked incredibly hard as representatives of our program, university and community. Rest in peace, young men."