University of Virginia shooting: 3 football players killed, police say – USA TODAY

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The University of Virginia lifted a campuswide lockdown Monday, hours after three students were killed and two injured in a shooting rampage on a charter bus that had returned from a field trip, authorities said.

Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a student at the elite, 22,000-student school, was taken into custody Monday, authorities said. 

Killed were D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., and Devin Chandler, all of whom play football at the school, Ryan said. The search for the shooter drew a shelter-in-place order that lasted about 12 hours. 

“This is a sad, shocking and tragic day for our UVA community,” President Jim Ryan said at a press conference Monday.

Police said a shooting was reported at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday on the northern edge of campus, tweeting: “UVA Alert: ACTIVE ATTACKER firearm reported in area of Culbreth Road. RUN HIDE FIGHT.”

Ryan said counseling and psychological services would be made available to students. Classes were canceled Monday, as was a UVA basketball game. 

“This is a message any leader hopes never to have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia,” Ryan wrote in an open letter shared on social media. “This is a traumatic incident for everyone in our community.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said agents were assisting in the investigation. Gov. Glenn Youngkin said State Police were coordinating with local authorities, adding that he and his wife, Suzanne, were “praying for the UVA community.”

UVA shooting victims

All three victims were members of the University of Virginia football team. Perry, a 6-3 junior linebacker from Miami, Davis was a 6-7 junior wide receiver from Dorchester, S.C. and Chandler, a 6-foot junior wide receiver from Huntersville, N.C. who transferred this season from Wisconsin.

The names of the two people who were wounded were not released. 

Who is shooting suspect Christopher Darnell Jones Jr.?

Jones was taken into custody Monday, police said during a news conference. 

Multiple police agencies were searched on the ground and from a helicopter.

A photo of Jones tweeted by UVA police also appears on virginiasports.com, where Jones was listed on the UVA football team roster in 2018. His profile says he was then a 5-foot, 9-inch, 195-pound first-year running back from Petersburg, Va., who did not appear in any games. It adds that he graduated from Petersburg High School after spending three years at Varina High School, where he was named Student of the Year as a freshman and sophomore, according to the profile.

Students huddle together, waiting for news

Rachel Mulvaney, 18, a first-year student in UVA’s Batten School of Public Policy and Leadership, locked down in her dorm room. She said she first heard about the shooting when her mother called to make sure she was safe. A short time later she saw the school’s alert that a shooter was on campus.

“I was terrified, it honestly didn’t hit me this could be real at first,” she told USA TODAY in an email. “I had a hard time wrapping my mind around it and processing.” 

Students checked on each other to make sure friends and loved ones were safe, she said. And she is worried about the mental health of students.

“There is a heavy atmosphere of mourning. I’m praying for the victims’ families and the UVA football team. I’m worried about the mental health of students. How will we recover? What will moving forward look like? Confused and scared. 

Luke, 21, a 4th-year student majoring in foreign affairs, biology and pre-med, was locked down at his girlfriend’s house with several other students “studying and just staying put.” They listened to the police scanner for updates from the scene, less than a mile away.

“People have been locked down in libraries all night. Everyone (is) definitely shaken up,” Luke, who preferred that his last name be withheld for privacy reasons, told USA TODAY in an email. “We are in deep prayer for the victims and for their families right now.”

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Where is UVA located?

The university is located on 2,000 acres in Charlottesville, about 115 miles southwest of Washington and 70 miles west of the state capital of Richmond. The school was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, whose Monticello estate sits a couple miles off campus.

There has been a shooting on Culbreth Road and the suspect is at large and considered armed and dangerous.

Please follow @UVA_EM for updated alerts, as we ask the @UVA community to please shelter in place. https://t.co/A6Vrirxq0N

— Jim Ryan (@presjimryan) November 14, 2022

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