In a short video released Wednesday evening, University President Jim Ryan shared details of a memorial service to be held honoring the lives of D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler, as well as the two students confirmed to have been injured in Sunday’s shooting, Cavalier football junior running back Mike Hollins and second-year Marlee Morgan.
The memorial will be held Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in John Paul Jones Arena. The last regular home game of the season was originally scheduled for the same time Saturday, but has since been canceled. The memorial will be open to the public as well as live streamed. Doors will open at 2 p.m.
Seating is first-come, first-serve, but overflow seating will be available at Klockner Stadium and Old Cabell Hall Auditorium. The University’s clear bag policy will remain in effect at all three locations and guests will be screened with metal detectors.
As of Wednesday, one of the two injured students has been released, and the other is in “fair” condition. The University has not confirmed additional details regarding the injured students, though Hollins’ mother confirmed he underwent a second surgery Tuesday and is doing well.
Ryan said that there will be an external review into the University’s interactions with suspect Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. — Jones was reported to the University’s threat assessment team in fall 2022 for alleged possession of a gun. The Office of Student Affairs responded to the report and made efforts to contact Jones as well as his roommate, who said he saw no indication that Jones had a gun.
The threat assessment investigation also revealed that Jones had been involved in a prior criminal incident outside of Charlottesville in February 2021 involving a concealed weapon. Students are required to report such convictions while they are students, but Jones failed to do so.
After a nearly 12-hour long search, Jones was arrested in Henrico County and is currently being held in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail without bond. In his first appearance in court Wednesday, prosecutors said Jones had targeted individuals on the bus where the shooting took place. Jones is charged with three counts of second degree murder, two counts of malisious shooting and five counts of posession of a hand gun in the commission of a felony.
“It is possible and perhaps likely that we will never find one single thing that will explain this,” Ryan said. “It may also be that we will never truly understand why this happened, but what we learn we will share.”
Referring to Monday night’s student-led vigil, where thousands of students gathered by candlelight on the South Lawn to honor the three students, Ryan thanked student organizations for creating an event “as powerful as it was beautiful.”
Classes and normal University operations resumed Wednesday after cancellations Monday and Tuesday, but undergraduate students will not be required to submit graded work until after Thanksgiving break. Students will not be penalized for absences from classes, and Ryan and Provost Ian Baucom have encouraged deans and professors to be flexible as students return to work at their own pace.
“There is nothing normal about what we’re going through as a community, and I deeply appreciate everyone’s flexibility to meet this moment, including our outstanding staff who have been helping out in countless ways,” Ryan said.
Ryan thanked students, faculty and staff for sharing thoughts on how to facilitate the grieving process — including community gatherings and flexible academic deadlines.
“Grief will run the course it needs to run,” Ryan said. “In my experience it never fully disappears, it just shows up in different ways over time.”