AG to review events leading to fatal UVA shooting; State Police take over criminal investigation

VT memorial for UVA shooting victims
VT memorial for UVA shooting victims(WDBJ)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 1:29 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has agreed to launch an external review of events leading to the fatal shooting of three football players and wounding of two other students on the University of Virginia grounds November 13.

“The Office of the Attorney General, at the request of the University of Virginia and its Board of Visitors, will be conducting a review of the events that led to the tragic death of three university students last Sunday evening. Attorney General Jason Miyares will enlist special counsel to assist the Office in completing this important work,” according to Miyares spokesperson Victoria LaCivita. “A public report will be shared with students, families, the larger UVA community, and government officials at the appropriate time. The Attorney General will work with deliberate speed while ensuring that all necessary resources remain devoted to the criminal investigation being conducted by state and local authorities.”

President Jim Ryan and University Rector Whitt Clement sent a letter to Miyares, requesting the appointment of special counsel to conduct an independent, external review of the events surrounding the shooting.

Read the full letter below this story.

“The University of Virginia community remains in a state of shock and mourning after three members of our community were killed and another two were seriously wounded on Nov. 13,” Ryan said. “In the wake of that tragedy, our top priority has been offering students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni the support and resources they need as they continue to grieve and process this terrible tragedy.”

“The University’s leadership and the Board of Visitors agree that the best way forward is a rigorous external review conducted by a special counsel appointed by the Virginia Attorney General,” he said.

Meanwhile, Virginia State Police have assumed the lead on the investigation into the shooting, releasing this statement:

At the request of the University of Virginia (UVA) and the University Police Department, Virginia State Police (VSP) will assume primary responsibility for the continued criminal investigation of the tragic incident that occurred on the UVA Grounds the evening of Nov. 13, 2022. VSP has been engaged since the early stages of the incident in cooperation with University, local, and federal law enforcement agencies. Due to the investigation’s expansion across multiple jurisdictions, VSP is able to bring additional resources and personnel to this active and complex investigation.

The VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office is still working in partnership with the University of Virginia Police Department, the Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Albemarle County Police Department, Charlottesville Police Department, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Office of the Virginia Attorney General, FBI, and ATF.

The Attorney General has the authority to appoint special counsel to serve state agencies under specific circumstances. In this case, the University’s letter requests the appointment of a firm with sufficient expertise and resources to rigorously review the University’s actions before, during and after the shooting.

“After a tragedy of this nature, it is important for the affected institution to take a hard look at what circumstances led up to the event and, how the University responded in the moment,” Clement said. “Once an external review commences, we expect it to be the central avenue by which we gain a deeper understanding about what led to this tragic event. While many details of the review will involve protected student information or other confidential details, the University will provide as much information as we can through a summary report of the review’s findings and recommendations, once it is complete.”

Ryan first spoke of the external review in a video message to the University community on Wednesday evening.