Witness says UVA shooting suspect didn’t shoot at random, targeted victims

The shocking details emerged during the suspect’s first court hearing Wednesday morning

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia shooting suspect, Chris Jones Jr, appeared in court for the first time Wednesday morning, and during the hearing, the Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney said a witness told police that the attack wasn’t random.

The shocking details emerged during court as Jones was arraigned. We’ve learned that one witness claims he saw Jones point a gun at Devin Chandler and shoot him in his sleep, watching him slide to the floor.

That witness also said that it was clear that Jones was aiming at certain people and not shooting randomly.

The tragedy happened on Sunday at about 10:30 p.m. on UVA grounds and claimed the lives of three students, including UVA linebacker and defensive end D’Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler, both wide receivers. Authorities said two others were injured, Michael Hollins, Jr and Marlee Morgan.

(From left to right): D'Sean Perry, Lavel Davis, and Devin Chandler were all UVA football players fatally shot (WSLS)

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. Officials say Jones was able to run from the scene, prompting a 12-hour manhunt. He was arrested at about 11 a.m. Monday.

On Wednesday morning (Nov.16), during Jones’ first court appearance, he appeared via video straight-faced.

Jones has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding and additional gun-related charges.

At the time of the shooting, Jones was serving two separate 12-month suspended sentences for reckless driving, hit and run with property damage and a concealed weapon violation, according to officials.

After the arraignment, 10 News asked the Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley if he had a message for the victims’ families, to which he responded with:

“We are all grieving and sad and devastated by these events in our community,” he said. “All of us in this community care for the victims’ families and wish for the speedy recovery of those who are being treated at the hospital and who were wounded and wish that there can be comfort for the family members of the victims who died in this terrible tragedy.”

Jones was appointed a public defender while he looks to hire his own attorney.

He is set to appear in court again on Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m. for a status hearing. Until then, he’ll be held in jail without bond.

About the Authors

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

You can watch Lindsey during Virginia Today every weekend or as a reporter during the week!

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