CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A University of Virginia spokesperson has confirmed that not only did the school know that the suspect in the tragic shooting possibly had a gun, but when school officials went to take disciplinary action against suspect Chris Jones, the report was never sent.
University spokesperson Brian Coy said that on Sept. 15th, in the process of investigating a potential hazing issue, a UVA student reported that Jones mentioned he had a gun.
That’s when the school learned Jones had been convicted of a misdemeanor for a concealed weapons violation in 2021. He received a 12-month suspended sentence and a small fine.
On Oct. 27, Student Affairs decided to escalate his case for disciplinary action. But in the wake of Sunday’s shooting, Student Affairs learned that report was never sent to the University Judiciary Committee.
Coy added that the “person responsible made... notes that it had been transmitted...but it did not seem to go through,” saying they’re “not sure if it was a human error or a technical issue”.
Coy told 10 News disciplinary cases can take weeks or months, and it’s extremely unlikely Jones’ case would have been adjudicated before the shooting.
You can read the main statement from Coy below:
“University officials take the responsibility to evaluate and act upon potential public safety threats seriously. On September 15, in the context of reviewing a potential hazing issue, UVA Student Affairs heard from a student that Mr. Jones made a comment to him about possessing a gun. The reporting party did not see Mr. Jones in possession of a gun. The comment about owning a gun was not made in conjunction with a threat. In the course of their investigation, University officials spoke with Mr. Jones’ roommate, who gave no indication of the presence of any weapons. In the course of their investigation, University officials discovered, that Mr. Jones previously had been convicted of a misdemeanor for a concealed weapons violation in 2021, for which he received a 12-month suspended sentence and a small fine.
Throughout the investigation, Mr. Jones repeatedly refused to cooperate with University officials who were seeking additional information about the claims that he had a firearm and about his failure to disclose the previous misdemeanor conviction. Accordingly, on October 27, Student Affairs decided to escalate his case for disciplinary action.
In the wake of the shooting yesterday, Student Affairs officials discovered that the report had not been transmitted to the University Judiciary Committee (UJC), and are working to correct that. It is important to note that the UJC is a judiciary body. In order to serve due process, their proceedings customarily take weeks or months.”Brian Coy, UVA spokesperson
You can see the full exchange of texts below: