CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia’s community is left grieving and asking “why?” after three students are dead and two others are hurt.
“When I see our students, I see my own kids; and I cannot imagine anything worse for a parent than to lose a child,” said James Ryan, University of Virginia President.
The suspect, 22-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr, is a UVA student. Police took Jones into custody in Henrico County after a 13-hour manhunt. Authorities spotted his car Monday morning and arrested him before 11 a.m.
University of Virginia Police Chief Timothy Longo learned of the arrest during a news conference.
“Excuse me… We’ve just learned Jones has been taken into custody,” Longo said.
Police say the victims were shot on a charter bus full of 25 people. The class was on their way back from a field trip to see a play in Washington D.C.
The three victims, D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis, were UVA football players.
The suspect, Jones, walked on the football team in 2018, but police couldn’t say how he knew the victims.
Longo admitted the school’s threat assessment team knew about Jones before the shooting.
During a hazing investigation, they learned Jones had a prior concealed weapon violation outside Charlottesville back in Feb. 2021.
The police chief added that Jones told someone not affiliated with the school that he had a gun.
“The comment about Jones owning a gun was not made in conjunction with any threats,” Longo said.
Authorities said the motive is still unclear.
Jones is facing three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.