RICHMOND, Va. — Police, students, athletes and families are all still processing a shooting a the University of Virginia on Sunday, which took the lives of three football players and wounded two other students.
Police charged 22-year-old student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. with three counts of second-degree murder, saying the three victims were killed just after 10:15 p.m. as a charter bus full of students returned from seeing a play in D.C.
The alleged shooter's father, Chris Jones Sr., got a call very early in the morning on Monday.
"I couldn't believe it was my son," Jones Sr. said. "What happened? What happened? How did it get this far? He could have called me," Jones Sr. said.
The last time he saw his son, he had come home to do laundry.
"He was real paranoid when I talked to him. About something. He wouldn't tell me everything," Jones Sr. said.
He eventually got his son to open up a little bit.
"Some people were picking on him or whatever. He didn't know how to handle it. I just told him to go to school. Pay them no mind. Do what you've got to do. You only have one more year."
Chris Jr. had come a long way. His mother and father separated when he was five and Chris Sr. said he was out of his son's life for 11 years.
The younger Jones bounced around to different schools in the Richmond area before his senior year at Petersburg High School, where he was MVP of the football team and a member of the National Honors Society. He graduated fifth in his class with a 4.2 GPA.
A 2018 newspaper story described him as someone involved in fights at school that led to suspensions. He described being picked on by his classmates for his academic prowess.
His father struggled for the right words.
"My heart goes out to the families. I don't know what to say, except I'm sorry on his behalf and apologize," Jones Sr. said.
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