The University Police Department confirmed that the suspect in Sunday night’s shooting, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was taken into custody Monday morning in Henrico County. University President Jim Ryan and Tim Longo, vice president for safety and security and chief of police, held a press conference Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Three students — second-year student Devin Chandler, third-year student Lavel Davis and fourth-year student D'Sean Perry — were fatally shot. All three were members of the Virginia football team. Two more students are injured and being treated at the University Medical Center. One is in stable condition and the other is in critical condition.
"This is a sad, shocking and tragic day for our U.Va. community," Ryan said. “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. When I see our students I see my own kids. And I cannot imagine anything worse for a parent than to lose a child.”
The shooting occurred at the Culbreth Garage on a charter bus of students who had been returning from a field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C. for a class, per the press conference.
The suspect Christopher Darnell Jones is a student at the University and was previously on the football team. He has been charged with three counts of second degree murder and three counts of possession of a handgun in the commission of a felony.
Longo said this afternoon that Jones had been reported to the University’s threat assessment team in fall 2022. In September, the Office of Student Affairs responded to a report that Jones had made a comment about possessing a gun to a third party unaffiliated with the University. The office followed up with the report and made efforts to contact Jones as well as his roommate, who reported they had not seen the presence of a weapon.
The threat assessment investigation also revealed a prior criminal incident Jones had been involved with involving a concealed weapon violation that occurred outside of Charlottesville in February 2021. The University requires that students disclose arrests or convictions that occur while they are students within 72 hours of the incident. Longo says that Jones failed to do so.
“The University has taken appropriate administrative charges through the University's Judiciary Council and that matter is still pending adjudication,” Longo said.
Jones had also come to the attention of the threat assessment team because of his involvement with a hazing investigation — Longo did not report additional details or information related to this incident.
The active shooting alert was first issued at 10:32 p.m., indicating that shots had been fired at Culbreth Garage and directing students to leave the area. At 10:40 p.m., students received another update urging them to shelter in place. The shelter in place order was lifted almost 12 hours later at 10:22 a.m. based on a building-by-building search of Grounds.
Classes were canceled Monday and Tuesday, per an email sent this afternoon by Ryan and Provost Ian Baucom. A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. on South Lawn for students to gather and grieve — student organizers have asked that media outlets refrain from attending.
Police will continue to work with law enforcement to investigate the shooting, and additional information will be provided as soon as able.
“We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the many men and women who worked around the clock to respond to this tragedy,” the email read. “On an incredibly sad and frightening day, people in every corner of this community responded … this does not make up for the tragic loss of our students, but it is a reminder that this community remains compassionate, caring, and committed even in the face of tragedy.”