CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – The three students killed at the University of Virginia Sunday night were all on the school’s football team, according to the school’s president, Jim Ryan.
Officials say UVA linebacker and defensive end D’Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler, both wide receivers, were fatally shot near a parking garage on Culbreth Road at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday.
The incident unfolded on a charter bus full of students returning to Charlottesville after seeing a play in Washington, D.C., a little over 30 hours after Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Panthers, according to the Associated Press.
A suspect, identified as a UVA student, was taken into custody after a nearly 12-hour manhunt with authorities ordering students to shelter in place and conducting a building-by-building and grounds search of the campus, officials told 10 News.
University police chief Timothy Longo Sr. learned of his arrest during a news conference Monday morning, to which he responded with: “Just give me a moment to thank God, breathe a sigh of relief.”
The tragedy has broken the hearts of many as thousands continue to mourn over the lives taken too soon.
Newberry College assistant football coach Sean Lampkin, who stated that he’s Davis Jr’s cousin, posted to Twitter, saying he was grief-stricken by the passing of a loving soldier:
Saddening, saddening news this morning. God took one of his most kind, humble, loving soldiers off of the battlefield last night.— Coach Sean Lampkin (@Coach_Lampkin) November 14, 2022
Please pray for my family as we are devastated by the passing my cousin Lavel Davis Jr.
Love and already miss you, kid. @LDJxlll pic.twitter.com/Sj0cIgPB81
His father Lavel Davis Sr. posted publically to his Facebook account in anguish: “Lord please help me.”
To support his family during these troublesome times, a family friend by the name of Heather Mitchell started a GoFundMe. So far, more than $115,000 has been raised.
In the description, Mitchell described Davis Jr. as someone who not only had a heart of gold but who also was a star both on and off the field.
He played his heart out for UVA and wanted to be the best, and he was. He loved his parents, his family, his community, and he had a love for football like no other. He worked hard coming back from two injuries to be one of the best college football players in the country. He was a rising star (both on and off the field) and the world was seeing what we all had known for a long time, that he was a talented one of a kind kid.Heather Mitchell
UVA linebacker and defensive end D’Sean Perry also lost his life in the shooting. He played in Saturday’s football game, wearing jersey #41. Perry was a third-year student at the University of Virginia and graduated from Gulliver Prep Academy, a high school in Miami, Florida.
Gulliver Prep President Cliff King says the news hit the community hard.
“This loss is felt very deeply and very personally by so many in our community because of the incredible young man D’Sean was,” he told NBC 12. “It’s a loss that will be felt very much in our community.”
Perry’s parents were heartbroken when they learned that his life had been cut short.
“I always told my son I love U & just keep working. I believe he let me know something tonight. I knew something was wrong. I love u man,” a man claiming to be his father posted to his Twitter account, ImageSports. The post has since been deleted, but a screenshot can be found below:
And the third person killed, identified as Devin Chandler, was a second-year wide receiver for the Cavaliers and wore jersey #15. He graduated from William Amos Hough High School in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
His former high school coach Matthew Jenkins said he had a positive spirit that was infectious.
“Every day he brought an energy and exuberance about him to practice, to school, and everything that he did,” Jenkins said.
Chandler’s former teammate Tad Hudson is still in disbelief over his sudden death.
“I haven’t had anybody that close to me die yet,” Hudson said. “He was a brother, and we fought hard on the same team together. It is tough.”
Two other students were wounded in the shooting, including Marlee Morgan and running back Michael Hollins Jr., who was in “stable” condition as of Monday morning, according to his father, Michael Hollins Sr.
“The doctors said he’s going to recover,” Hollins told the Washington Post. “They said because of his age and physical condition, he’s doing exceptionally well.”
No word yet on Morgan’s condition.
10 News Sports director John “Appy” Appicello reacted to the tragedy and offered his condolences: