Police arrest University of Virginia shooting suspect after 12 hour manhunt
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - A suspect is in custody after a shooting Sunday night that left three University of Virginia students dead and two more injured.
Henrico County police arrested the suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. just before 11 a.m. Monday. Officers took Jones into custody nearly 70 miles from the UVA grounds.
The shootings happened on a bus that came back from Washington D.C. on a school field trip. Police found two students dead on the bus and say the third student died at a hospital.
The victims, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry, were football players at UVA. Two of the victims are being treated at the hospital. Police say one student is in critical condition and the other is in good condition.
UVA officials stated at a press conference Monday morning the suspect is a former football player at the university.
The grounds at UVA are now back open after a shelter in place was issued from 11 p.m. Sunday to around 11 a.m. Monday. However, classes and extracurriculars were still canceled for the rest of the day. Classes at UVA are also canceled Tuesday.
Police charged Jones with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.
The university’s president explained the entire UVA community is grieving.
”When I see our students I see my own kids, and I cannot imagine anything worse for a parent than to lose a child,” Jim Ryan said. “Please know we will do everything we can to honor their lives and will come together soon as a community to mourn these losses.”
Officials at Monday morning’s press conference also stated that UVA’s office of student affairs received reports from a third party that the suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., owned a gun in September. However, he did not make any direct threats to students or staff with that report.
Local law enforcement agencies and Virginia State Police are still working to investigate what led up the shooting Sunday night and the relationship between the shooter and all of the victims. Officials are continuing their investigation to release a motive.
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