Suspect in UVA shooting is in custody; Classes canceled again Tuesday
The student suspected of shooting five other students at the University of Virginia Sunday night is in custody. An emotional UVA police chief Tim Longo made the announcement in the middle of a news conference Monday morning.
Longo and UVA President Jim Ryan did not offer any additional details about where or how Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. was taken into custody. Henrico County police later said they arrested Jones without incident just before 11:00 am near Richmond after a patrol officer recognized his vehicle. The university lifted the shelter in place warning around 10:30 Monday morning after an exhaustive search by a number of law enforcement agencies.
Ryan and Longo did release more details about what happened at the Culbreth garage Sunday night. Longo said the first reports of a shooting started coming in at 10:16. The incident happened on a charter bus that was returning from a class field trip to a play in Washington, DC.
Three students died in the shooting and two others were injured. Ryan identified those killed as Devin Chandler – a second-year from Virginia Beach, Lavel Davis – a third-year student from Richville, South Carolina and D'Sean Perry – a fourth-year student from Miami, Florida. All three were members of the football team. Ryan did not release any information about the two other students who were wounded, except to say one is in critical condition.
Ryan and Longo said the relationship between Jones and the victims is still being investigated. Long said Jones came to the attention of the university’s threat assessment team earlier this fall. That included a notification about Jones potentially having a weapon in September. The team followed up with Jones’ roommate, who said they didn’t see a weapon.
Jones had also been involved in a criminal incident involving a concealed weapon violation that happened outside Charlottesville in February 2021. The school requires students to report incidents like that – which Jones failed to do.
Longo said police had obtained second degree murder and other firearms charges against Jones. He said those charges could be upgraded later as the investigation reveals more information.
Ryan and Longo were emotional during Monday morning's news conference. "It is a sad, shocking and tragic day for our university community," Ryan said. He said he was deeply sorry for the victims, their families and friends.
Longo praised the other law enforcement agencies that came to assist the university's police force. "We can't do this alone, and obviously we haven't," Long said.
Classes and all activities, including the basketball game, are cancelled Monday. Tuesday classes have also been classes, according to an afternoon email from Ryan to the university community. It also said plans for a university-wide vigil are also underway.
For family and friends with questions about the shooting, UVA has established an Emergency Hotline at 877-685-4836. A Family and Community Assistance Center has been set up to provide mental health services. Services will provided on the corner of Edgemont and McCormick at 505 Edgemont Rd.
Students may call Counseling and Psychological Services at 434-243-5150, 24 hours a day. Faculty and staff can find a similar resource through the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program by calling 434-243-2643.