Three University of Virginia football players were identified Monday as the victims killed in a late-night shooting Sunday, with officials arresting a former member of the team who is suspected of carrying out the attack.
Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D’Sean Perry died after a gunman opened fire on a bus filled with students returning from a field trip at around 10:30 p.m., the school’s president, Jim Ryan, said during a news conference.
The suspect, a current student identified as Christopher Jones, was taken into custody late Monday morning in connection with the rampage that also left two people wounded.
Jones faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, police said.
The wounded victims were not publicly identified by officials, but Ryan said both are students. One is hospitalized in good condition and the other is critical, he said.
Mike Hollins, a junior running back for Virginia’s football team, is one of the hospitalized victims, his father told The Washington Post, saying his son is intubated and “stable.”
“The doctors said he’s going to recover,” Michael Hollins Sr. said Monday. “They said because of his age and physical condition, he’s doing exceptionally well.”
Investigators have not announced a motive, nor have they determined whether Jones had a relationship with any of the victims.
“This is a message any leader never hopes to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia,” Ryan said in an announcement shared Monday morning. “This is a traumatic incident for everyone in our community.”
Jones was flagged earlier this year to the university’s threat assessment team, which received a report that he claimed to own a gun. Jones was also involved in a hazing investigation that revealed a prior “concealed weapon violation” in February 2021 that was never reported to the university, police said.
Jones hadn’t been on Virginia’s football team in over a year, Ryan said. The team’s website lists Jones as a running back on its 2018-19 roster.
About 25 students were aboard the bus when the shooting occurred at a campus garage after a class trip to see a play, officials said. Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, while another died after being hospitalized.
Davis and Chandler, both juniors, played wide receiver for the Virginia Cavaliers, while Perry, also a junior, played linebacker.
The university canceled classes Monday, while a multihour shelter-in-place order was lifted shortly before Jones’ arrest was confirmed. His arrest didn’t occur on campus, Ryan said.
“I am holding the victims, their families, and all members of the University of Virginia community in my heart today, and we will make plans to come together as a community to grieve as soon as the suspect is apprehended,” Ryan said.
Jones attended Petersburg High School, located about 90 miles northeast of the UVA campus in Charlottesville, before enrolling at University of Virginia, according to the local news station WRIC. He played running back and linebacker in high school.
His arrest followed an hourslong manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies that searched for him on and around the campus, police said.
Founded by Thomas Jefferson more than 200 years ago, the University of Virginia enrolls more than 20,000 students.
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