An outpouring of grief has engulfed the University of Virginia, where classes were canceled for a second day after three football players were killed on campus and new details emerge about the fellow student accused of killing them.
Hundreds flocked to the Charlottesville campus Monday, surrounding Homer’s statue with candles and signs reading “UVA Strong” and “1-15-41” — the uniform numbers of deceased UVA football players Devin Chandler, LaVell Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry.
Two other people were injured, one seriously and one in fair condition, UVA spokesman Brian Coy said Monday.
The victims had returned from a school field trip Sunday evening when they were shot in and near a school bus, authorities said. The suspect, a former UVA football player, was in custody by the next morning; It is not clear if he was on a field trip.
The killings are among at least 68 shootings on US school grounds this year, including 15 on college campuses. The incident is among about 600 U.S. mass shootings this year in which at least four people besides the gunman have been shot, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The UVA shooting prompted an hours-long manhunt — while students were holed up in dorms, classrooms and libraries — for Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. The arrest was made late Monday in Henrico County, about 80 miles east of Charlottesville.
Jones faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of use of a handgun in commission of a felony, UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said.
Police have not revealed what led to the attack.
A wave of support — locally and across the country — poured into Charlottesville.
Even The women’s basketball team at rival Virginia Tech Monday wearing “#HokiesforHoos” shirts.
Jones was the subject of a lawsuit pending before the university’s judicial council when Sunday’s shooting occurred, officials said.
“On Sept. 15, in the context of reviewing a potential problem, UVA Student Affairs heard from a student that Mr. Jones had made a statement to him about possessing a gun,” university spokesman Coy said.
Coy said the man “did not see Mr. Jones in possession of a gun” and “the comment about owning a gun was not made in conjunction with a threat.”
“During their investigation, university officials spoke with Mr. Jones’ roommate, who gave no indication that he was armed. During their investigation, university officials discovered that Mr. Jones had previously been tried and convicted of a misdemeanor concealed weapons violation in 2021, for which he received a 12-month suspended sentence and a small fine.
Throughout the investigation, Coy said, “Mr. Jones has repeatedly refused to cooperate with university officials seeking additional information about claims he owned a firearm and his failure to disclose a prior misdemeanor conviction.
So on October 27, “the threat assessment team escalated his case for disciplinary action,” Coy said.
The school’s judicial council took up the case and the results are to be released, the university’s police chief said.
Jones is listed as a 2018 football player on UVA’s athletic website and did not participate in any games as a freshman.
He attended Varina High School and Petersburg High School, where he played football as a linebacker and running back, according to his college athletics biography.
A UVA spokesperson told CNN Jones had a preexisting injury that prevented him from playing for the football team in 2018.
Jones underwent medical treatment and rehabilitation during his time with the team and was a member of the team only one season, the spokesman said.
The spokesman would not provide details on Jones’ injury.
All three dead and at least one of the two injured were UVA football players.
Davis, a junior from South Carolina, has been one of the top wide receivers for the Virginia Cavaliers this season. He was a 6 foot 7 inch receiver The team’s primary deep threatWith 16 catches for 371 yards and two touchdowns on the year, good for 23.2 yards per catch.
Perry, a junior linebacker, played in 15 games over the past three seasons. Against Pittsburgh on Saturday, he had two tackles in a 37-7 loss. Perry’s parents released a statement through their attorney thanking supporters for their condolences.
Chandler, a junior wide receiver and kick returner, recently transferred to UVA this offseason from the University of Wisconsin, where the football program was located. That said “Deeply Saddened” by Tragic Deaths
“This is a difficult time for the players and staff because of the lasting impact Devin had on his friends and teammates,” a statement read. “Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and the Virginia football family.”
According to the head football coach at University Lab School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, student Michael Hollins was injured. Hollins is a junior running back for UVA, according to the team’s roster.
Hollins was shot in the back and is expected to recover after the bullet lodged in his stomach, his father Michael Hollins told The Washington Post. The family did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Hollins hoped to graduate in December with a degree in entrepreneurship and African American history, his father told the Post.
The other injured person has not been named.