The University of Virginia canceled classes Tuesday as it “continues to work through the emotional pain” of Sunday’s shooting that killed three of the school’s football players and wounded two others.
The shooting was sparked by an hours-long manhunt that lasted from Sunday night into Monday morning. It ended with the arrest of the gunman, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., in Henrico County, about 80 miles east of Charlottesville. UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said Monday that Jones was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.
Police have not disclosed the motive for the attack.
The university said the three players killed in the shooting were identified as wide receivers Devin Chandler, LaVale Davis Jr. and linebacker Sean Perry.
Two other students were also injured, but only one of them – Michael Hollins – has been identified. Two injured students are being treated at UVA Medical Center, one in critical condition and the other in fair condition, said UVA spokesman Brian Coy, who declined to be named.
An outpouring of support, both locally and nationwide, poured into Charlottesville after the news broke Monday. The school held a candlelight vigil Monday, drawing hundreds of people to campus, according to a photo tweeted by the school’s football team.
The women’s basketball team at rival Virginia Tech Wore a “#HokiesforHoos” shirt on Monday.
University of WisconsinWhere Chandler previously played, their program released a statement saying it was “deeply saddened” by the tragic deaths.
“This is a difficult time for the players and staff because of the lasting impact Devin had on his friends and teammates,” the statement said. “Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and the Virginia football family.”
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about the shooting shortly after she was sworn in as the new ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday.
“It’s tragic,” Harris said. “Certainly, our prayers are with the families of the victims, and this is a constant reminder that we need to do better when it comes to gun safety laws in our country.”
There have been at least 68 shootings on school grounds in the US this year, including 15 on college campuses, where at least one person was shot in each case, including the shooter. The deadliest school shooting in modern US history was the 2007 attack at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, which killed 32 people before a 23-year-old student took his own life.
The shooting at the Charlottesville campus is one of nearly 600 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and cases in which at least four people, other than the shooter, were shot and killed, according to CNN figures.
The shooting took place on Sunday while returning from a trip to Washington DC. The class watched a play, university officials said, and it wasn’t immediately clear if Jones was part of that class or was on a field trip.
University President Jim Ryan said police responded to a report of shots fired in an area near the Culbreth Road parking garage around 10:30 p.m. Two of the victims were inside the bus, and the third victim was taken to a hospital, where he died, said Longo, the school police chief.
The call prompted a shelter-in-place alert, which was lifted about 12 hours later, Longo said. More than 500 people took shelter in campus buildings, including libraries and classrooms, he said.
Classes at UVA and Charlottesville city schools were canceled Monday following the shooting.
Authorities launched a search for Jones following Sunday’s attack. Around 11 a.m. Monday, a Henrico County police officer spotted the vehicle driven by Jones in the eastern part of the county, according to a news release from the police division.
Jones is listed on UVA’s athletics website as the 2018 football player of the year and has not participated in a game as a freshman. He attended Varina High School and Petersburg High School, where he played football as a linebacker, according to his university athletics bio.
A UVA spokesperson told CNN Jones said that prevented him from playing on the football team in 2018, according to the spokesperson.
The spokesman did not provide details of Jones’ injury.
Jones has been on the radar before Campus authorities. Authorities discovered in September that “Jones made a comment about having a gun to someone not affiliated with the university,” Longo said at Monday’s news conference. But the man never actually saw the gun in question, he said.
“During the threat assessment team’s investigation, we learned of a prior criminal incident involving a concealed weapons violation that occurred outside of downtown Charlotteville in February 2021,” Longo said, adding that the suspect was required to report that incident. But the university never did. The school’s judicial council has taken up the case and the outcome is awaited.
Jones was also involved in the investigation, which was closed on campus because witnesses were uncooperative, Longo said.
The three dead and one of the two injured were confirmed to be UVA football players.
LaVall Davis Jr., a junior from South Carolina, has been one of the best receivers for the Virginia Cavaliers this season. As a 6-foot-7-inch receiver, Davis was The team’s primary deep threat16 catches for 371 yards and two touchdowns on the year, good for 23.2 yards per catch.
Junior linebacker DE Sean Perry has played in 15 games over the past three seasons. He had two tackles in Saturday’s 37-7 loss against Pittsburgh. In a statement through their attorney, Michael Haggard, Perry’s parents thanked the South Florida and Charlottesville communities for their support after the shooting.
Junior wide receiver and kick returner Devin Chandler recently transferred to UVA this offseason from the University of Wisconsin.
One of the two injured students was identified as Michael Hollins, said Andrew Martin, head football coach at University Lab School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hollins is a junior running back for UVA, according to the team’s roster. CNN reached out to Hollins’ family but did not receive a response.
Hollins’ father, Michael Hollins Sr., told The Washington Post that his son was shot in the back of the abdomen. Hollins Sr. told the Post that he hopes to recover.
Hollins had hoped to graduate in December with a degree in entrepreneurship and African American history, his father told the Post.