UVA shooting: Prosecutor announces additional charges against campus shooting suspect before first scheduled court appearance | Media Pyro

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CNN

Additional charges were announced Tuesday against the man accused of killing three football players and wounding two others in a weekend shooting at the University of Virginia before his initial court appearance Wednesday.

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingley told CNN that the new charges — two counts of malicious wounding and a firearms charge each — relate to two people who were injured in Sunday’s shooting.

The deadly violence erupted on a bus returning to the Charlottesville campus Sunday after a field trip in Washington, D.C., where a class watched a play, leaving the campus, football team and city in mourning, a UVA spokeswoman said.

School spokesman Brian Coy confirmed that the suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was on the trip and on the bus.

Christopher Jones was arrested Monday in connection with the shooting.

Jones is scheduled to appear in Albemarle General District Court Wednesday morning for a bond hearing, court records show. He faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said earlier.

Jones was arrested Monday afternoon in Henrico County, about 80 miles east of Charlottesville, and was transferred to the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail Tuesday afternoon.

In announcing the additional charges Tuesday evening, Hingley identified the victims of the shooting as Marley Morgan and Michael Hollins.

Hollins, a junior running back on the varsity football team, was intubated Tuesday morning but is stable, his family said. CNN reached out to Marley Morgan’s family.

UVA Health spokesman Eric Swenson gave CNN a status update on the two injured on Tuesday, saying one has been discharged and the other is in critical condition. Swenson did not identify anyone.

The three football players killed in the shooting were Devin Chandler, LaVall Davis Jr. and DeSean Perry.

UVA student Ryan Lynch told CNN affiliate KYW-TV that he was on the bus where the shooting happened and saw Jones push one of the victims.

“Chris got up and pushed Laval,” Lynch told KYW. “After he pushed him, he was like, ‘You always mess with me.’ Said something weird like that, but it was really weird because they didn’t talk to him the whole trip.

Lynch told the affiliate that he heard several gunshots before Jones exited the bus and “I kind of walked or skipped the bus when I saw him go by.” CNN has reached out to Lynch for comment.

Prior to Sunday’s shooting, Jones was the subject of a pending lawsuit before the university’s judicial council, officials said.

“On September 15th, in the context of reviewing a potential problem, UVA Student Affairs heard from a student that Mr. Jones had made a comment to him about him being in possession of a firearm,” university spokesman Brian Coy said.

The man “did not see Mr. Jones holding a gun,” and “the comment about having a gun was not made in conjunction with a threat,” Coy said.

“During their investigation, university officials spoke with Mr. Jones’ roommate, who gave no indication of the presence of weapons. In their investigation, university officials found that Mr. Jones had been tried and convicted of a weapons violation in 2021, for which he received a 12-month suspended sentence and a small fine.

Coy said throughout the investigation that “Mr. Jones has repeatedly refused to cooperate with university officials seeking more information about his claims that he had a gun and his failure to disclose a previous misdemeanor conviction.

Coy said on October 27 that “the threat assessment team has taken his case under disciplinary action”.

The school’s judicial council took over the case, and the results are pending, said Longo, the school’s police chief.

Jones was also involved in the investigation, which was closed on campus because witnesses were uncooperative, Longo said.

Jones is listed on UVA’s athletics website as a football player in 2018 and did not participate in any games as a freshman. A UVA spokesperson told CNN Jones that has prevented him from playing on the 2018 football team.

Jones went through medical treatment and rehabilitation during his time with the team and was only a member of the team for one season, according to the spokesperson.

“What I do know is that the young man was a student who started in 2018 and had a semester with our football program,” UVA athletics director Carla Williams said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, UV football head coach Tony Elliott spoke publicly for the first time since the firing. He described the days after the attack as a nightmare.

“I’m ready for someone to pinch me and wake me up and tell me this didn’t happen,” Elliott said, adding that Tuesday “was great and we were able to find some joy out of the pain. Celebrating the lives of Laval, DeSean and Devin.

The deaths of players Chandler, Davis Jr. and Perry left three big holes on a team that was more like family than anything, the coach said. Chandler was described as “the life of the party,” Davis as “the big man on campus,” and Perry as “the cool guy everyone wanted to know.”

Left to right: Devin Chandler, DeSean Perry, LaVall Davis Jr.

Elliott praised the strength of his team and staff. Elliott said the team inspired him to push forward. At the same time, he said, the staff has made it their mission to ensure that the team has all the resources it needs and that no one goes into isolation.

“The message to the team is that we’re going to celebrate their lives moving forward and the impact they’ve made so far and the legacy they’re going to be a part of in helping us move forward,” Elliott said.

As the team and community mourn, questions remain about the logistics of football and the university as a whole. Classes at UVA will resume Wednesday, Mike Mather, managing editor of UVA Today, told CNN Tuesday afternoon.

The Cavaliers also have a game against Coastal Carolina on Saturday.

Williams said the athletics department — along with the football team and staff — will decide whether to play Saturday.

“We will use our best judgment,” she said late Tuesday. “We will make a decision soon.”

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