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VERIFY: What is UVA's Threat Assessment Team?

A UVA student shot and killed three football players, injured two others

WASHINGTON — Following the shooting at the University of Virginia, which killed three football players and injured two others, campus police say the student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. was known to the college’s Threat Assessment Team.  

"In September of 2022, our Office of Student Affairs reported to the multidisciplinary threat assessment team that Mr. Jones, they received information that Mr. Jones had made a comment about possessing a gun to a person that was unaffiliated with the university," UVA Police Chief Tim Longo said during a press conference Monday morning. 

He explained the reporting individual was a third-party report and was not made in conjunction with any threats.

But it was not the only time the school had flagged the alleged shooter. 

"Mr. Jones, also had come to the attention of our threat assessment team, because he was involved in a hazing investigation of some sort,” Longo said. “We learned of a prior criminal incident involving a concealed weapon violation that occurred outside the city of Charlottesville in February of 2021.”

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As a student he was required to report that incident, which he did not, Longo said. And it is currently being adjudicated through the Universities Judiciary Council.  

But the fact the suspect was flagged by the Threat Assessment Team stemmed a lot of conversation online.

 So, who are they and what did they do with that information?

First thing to know– this is not unique to UVA

Since 2009, all Virginia colleges had to come up with, “policies and procedures for the prevention of violence on campus." 

It was introduced in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting and according to the policy, the goal of the ‘threat assessment’ is to "identify potentially dangerous or violent situations, and behaviors—and address them before the violence."  

And it’s not just law enforcement.

The team at UVA includes people from the office of Student Affairs, Counseling and Psychological Services, and a faculty representative, to name a few.

And while they investigate– they do not discipline. 

"The TAT does not serve as a disciplinary body; however, referrals will be made to the appropriate disciplinary authority regarding violent or threatening behavior per University policy," the policy reads.

Our researchers reached out to the director of UVA’s threat assessment team, and as of publication, we have not confirmed what happened following their involvement and if a referral was made regarding the gun possession tip. 

RELATED: Yes, there were more children killed in school shootings this year than on-duty law enforcement officers killed by gunfire


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