CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A University of Virginia student suspected of killing three of his fellow classmates and wounding two others in an on-campus shooting Sunday night was taken into police custody, after the campus was told to shelter in place for more than 12 hours in a harrowing overnight event.
The alleged gunman, identified by authorities as Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was in custody, was arrested in Richmond, Virginia Monday morning and is facing multiple charges, including murder. The 22-year-old is a current UVA student who was listed as a member of the football team in 2018.
The shooting occurred near a campus parking garage on a bus full of students returning from a class field trip to Washington, D.C., according to UVA President Jim Ryan said. The motive behind the shooting remains unclear at this point in the investigation, authorities said.
"This is an unimaginably sad day for our community," Ryan said. "The entire university community is grieving this morning. My heart is broken for the victims and their families and for all those who knew and loved them, and they are all in my prayers."
Here's what we know about the deadly campus shooting so far:
Who was shot?
Ryan identified the deceased victims Monday morning as Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D'Sean Perry. Two other students - one in critical condition and one in good condition - were wounded in the shooting and being treated at the UVA medical center. The names of those students were not released.
Here's what we know about the three players killed, according to UVA's 2022-2023 roster website.
Chandler was a wide receiver for the Cavaliers, from Huntersville, North Carolina, wearing jersey 15. The junior transferred from The University of Wisconsin after signing with UVA in late 2021. The three-star recruit started high school at Arlington High School in Tennessee before transferring to William Amos Hough High School in North Carolina for his senior season. He also competed in track and field in high school, and his major was undecided at UVA.
Davis, also a wide receiver in his junior year at UVA, was from Dorchester, South Carolina and played at Woodland High School, where he played basketball and ran track. He was one of only eight ACC student-athletes named to the College Sports Communicators' 2022 Comeback Player of the Year watch list.
On a call with WUSA9, Davis' father, Thaddeus Davis, described his first-born son as a "remarkable young man" and a "diamond in the rough." He said the phone call from police at 1:30 a.m. was the news no parent wants to hear.
Davis was a recipient of the 2022-23 Danny Lee Fassio Family Bicentennial Scholarship, and his major was undecided at UVA.
"Lavel's determination to succeed and devotion to family united those around him and made all those who encountered him better for knowing him," his high school tweeted Monday. "This is a tremendous loss. Lavel's legacy will never be forgotten."
A friend who connected with WUSA9 over Instagram said Davis' goal in every game he played was to make his family and teammates proud.
Perry was a junior linebacker from Miami, Florida who was majoring in studio art at UVA. He played at Gulliver Prep High School and was named the South Florida Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. The three-star recruit also played high school basketball.
Monday afternoon, UVA football coach Tony Elliott expressed his heartache over the loss of three of his players.
"I cannot find the words to express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling today after the tragic events last night that resulted in the deaths of Lavel, D'Sean and Devin, and the others who were injured," Elliott said in a statement. "These were incredible young men with huge aspirations and extremely bright futures. Our hearts ache for their families, their classmates and their friends. These precious young men were called away too soon. We are all fortunate to have them be a part of our lives. They touched us, inspired us and worked incredibly hard as representatives of our program, university and community. Rest in peace, young men."
What do we know about the alleged shooter?
According to UVA Police Chief Tim Longo, Jones was already on the police's radar. In September, UVA's Office of Student Affairs reported to the university's threat assessment team that they had received information from someone outside the university about Jones possessing a gun. The reporting person, Longo said, did not actually see the gun, and Jones' comment about owning a gun was not made in conjunction with any threats.
The Office of Student Affairs followed up with the reporting person and made efforts to contact Jones, as well as his roommate, who did not report seeing a weapon in their room, or on Jones, Longo said.
Jones was also involved in a hazing investigation "of some sort" on campus, but Longo said he was not aware of the details of the case. It was ultimately closed due to "uncooperative witnesses," Longo said.
Through the course of their investigation, the UVA Police Department learned about a prior criminal incident from February 2021 involving Jones and a concealed weapon that happened outside the City of Charlottesville. As a student, Jones would have been required to report that to the University, which Longo said never happened.
"The University has taken appropriate administrative charges through the university's judiciary counsel and that matter is still pending adjudication," Longo said.
Jones is listed on UVA's football roster page from 2018, but the bio says he did not appear in any games. He played linebacker at Petersburg High School in his senior year, after transferring from Varina High School. His bio says he was a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, president of Key Club, president of Jobs for Virginia Grads Program and was named Student of the Year as a freshman and sophomore.
Who is investigating?
Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are assisting in the investigation into the UVA shooting. A joint statement was issued from US Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Charlottesville Joseph D. Platania, and Commonwealth’s Attorney for Albemarle County James M. Hingeley.
"Today, we join the University of Virginia, City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County communities in mourning the lives of three innocent members of our community lost during a shooting Sunday night on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Albemarle County," the statement read. "We also hope for a full recovery for the two victims who were wounded during this incident."