The ex-University of Virginia football player, Christopher Darnell, is suspected of firing on three football players, on Sunday night within the campus. The police confirmed the immediate death of the three players as well as announced the suspect was arrested.
Timothy Longo, the University Police Chief revealed that the officials secured an arrest warrant charging Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. with three counts of using the handgun and three counts of second-degree murder of Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry, and Lavel Lavis Jr.
The authorities further indicated that two other students were also injured in the middle, however, they didn’t disclose their names at first. But seemingly, one of them is in a critical condition, and the other one is out of danger. University President Jim Ryan disclosed the information with a source.
A high school football coach said that one of the injured victims was Michael Hollins, the Cavaliers running back and a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Jones, 22, was a former member of the football team. He was initially mentioned on the 2018 list of the Virginia Cavaliers, but he was not spotted on the roster in any of the following seasons, which is quite odd.
Scroll down to learn more about the incident, like what exactly happened on a cursed night or when the shooting opened on the students.
The Shooting Unfolded on The School bus
As per the University’s Office of Emergency Management’s tweet, the gunfire occurred at the parking lot on Culbreth Road, next to the school’s drama section, at around 10.30 pm on Sunday.
Ryan mentioned the same and added that the school bus was full of students who were returning from a girl trip. It was an energy booster trip to watch a play in Washington DC and was associated with a class.
He further identified the victim as Chandler, a second-year student from Virginia, Perry, a fourth-year student from Miami, and Davis, a third-year student from South Carolina.
Although a manhunt was instantly launched for the suspect, the students were issued warnings to “RUN HIDE FIGHT” and to find shelter somewhere to ensure their safety. The emergency management office further added that a thorough search was conducted at the spot earlier on Monday, involving several agencies and a Virginia State Police helicopter. The shelter-in-order was only lifted after the entire place was searched well.
The investigation was also assisted by the Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms, Alcohols, and Explosives.
After the firing finished, Ryan said in a voicemail admitting that as a leader, he never expected to have a situation where he would be asked to announce that violence had visited the University of Virginia.
Who is Christopher Darnell Jones Jr.?
During the investigation, the authorities shared a photo of Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. who was a primary football team member, saying he had weapons and thus he was dangerous. The same photograph appeared on the website of Virginia Cavalier’s 2018 football rosters list. The profile claims he appeared in no games that year.
When enquired about his whereabouts with his mom, Margo Ellis, she said her son used to live with his grandmother ever since he was 16 and that she didn’t know where he was or what prompted him to commit such a ruthless crime.
On Monday, officials said that Jones had previously landed on the radar of school authorities over the last few years. Back in September, the Office of Student Affairs gained information that claimed Jones had made a comment indicating the possession of a gun, which he said to a person unknown to the university, said, Longo.
In addition to the information, Longo also revealed that it was not at all a threat. The authorities immediately questioned the person who flagged the concern as well as Jones’ roommate, who did not admit having seen a weapon of that sort.
The threat assessment team also went to look into Jones in relation to who requested a hazing investigation, but the case was eventually halted as no witnesses were ready to spit what they knew. But Longo recalled that Jones was once involved in a criminal incident back in Feb. 2021 involving the possession of an unlawful weapon outside Charlottesville. Per protocol, Jones abstained from revealing the matter with the school.
Longo further added that the university had taken proper administrative changes via the university’s judiciary council, however, the issue is still pending adjudication.
Tributes Paid to the Late Students
In a joint statement with Provost Ian Baucom, Ryam said that the classes were canceled on Tuesday in order for the remaining students to mourn the loss of their dear friends. The school also provided counselors to console the ones who were traumatized by the events. Apparently, the students have requested their professors to be liberal in their attendance and flexible on their assignments.
Athletic director Carla Williams dubbed the three players as the “three talented and bright young men” and also said they had promising and bright futures cut short Sunday night.
The statement began with her saying it was a challenging day for our community. (As they are no more) we will never see what an impact they would have brought to the world, but we can never let go of the impact they had on us.
“I miss D’Sean, Devin, and Lavel. I pray for their comfort, peace, and hope for their family and loved ones,” she concluded.
Head football coach Tony Elliot said, “I cannot find appropriate words to explain the heartache and devastation that our team is having at the moment after the sad events that occurred last night which resulted in the deaths of D’Sean, Lavel, and Devin, and the other two, who were injured.”
“They were young men with bright futures and aspirations. Our hearts are in pain for the families, friends, and classmates.”
A prayer service was conducted exclusively for the demised souls at St. Paul’s Memorial Church on Monday evening.
Virginia government Glenn Youngkin said on Monday that he and his wife were constantly praying for the UVA community. By the time the investigators find the culprit, he said, it was better to “lift up the entire community in prayer.”