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Suspect Apprehended in Fatal Shooting of Three Virginia Football Players

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Authorities said a University of Virginia student shot and murdered three members of the football team as they returned from a field trip, causing panic and a 12-hour lockdown of the campus before the culprit was apprehended Monday.

Two students were injured in the late-Sunday brawl near a parking garage. Police looked for the gunman all night.

During a morning news briefing, officials learned that the suspect, 22-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., had been apprehended.

“Give me time to thank God and breathe a sigh of relief,” campus Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said after learning Jones had been apprehended.

The incident occurred shortly after 10:15 p.m. Sunday, on the way back from attending a play in Washington.

According to University President Jim Ryan, officials do not have a “complete grasp” of the shooting’s motivation or circumstances.

“The entire campus community is mourning this morning,” Ryan stated, looking strained. “My heart breaks for the victims and their families, as well as for everyone who knew and loved them.”

The killings occurred at a time when the country is on edge following a string of mass shootings in the last six months, including a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers;

a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb that killed seven people and injured more than 30; and a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that killed ten people and injured three.

Students who were told to hide in closets, dorm rooms, libraries, and apartments as police searched for the gunman described horrifying hours of hiding in closets, dorm rooms, libraries, and apartments. They listened to police scanners and attempted to recall what they’d learned as kids during active-shooter drills.

Shannon Lake, a third-year student from Crozet, Virginia, ended up spending 12 hours in a lab room with pals, much of the time in a storage closet. She had a lot of thoughts about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, which killed 20 children and six staff.

“It just kind of brought all those thoughts back up again,” Lake said, “and reminded us that this is still an ongoing issue in our society, which is really unfortunate.”

Suspect Caught In Fatal Shooting Of 3 U.Va. Football Players - Fox21Online

Elizabeth Paul, a student from northern Virginia, was studying on a computer in the library when her mother called to tell her about the incident.

Paul stated that she originally dismissed any concerns, believing them to be trivial. When her computer lit up with a warning about an active shooter, she felt she had to take it seriously.

“I believe it said, ‘Run. Hide.'” “Fight,” she exclaimed.

Paul claimed she spent nearly 12 hours huddled with several others in the library. She talked on the phone with her mother for the majority of the night.

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“I wasn’t even talking to her the whole time, but she wanted the line to be on so that if I needed anything, she was there,” she explained.

Ryan named the three students who killed Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and DeSean Perry. He stated that one of the injured pupils was in critical condition in the hospital while the other was in good health.

The incident triggered an extensive manhunt, with officers searching the school building by building while students hid in place. Late Monday morning, the lockdown order was lifted.

Jones was apprehended without incident in Richmond’s suburbs, according to police.

Longo stated that authorities secured arrest warrants for Jones, charging him with three charges of second-degree murder and three counts of felony use of a weapon.

It was unclear whether Jones had an attorney or when he would appear in court for the first time.

Jones had once been a football squad member, but he hadn’t played in at least a year, according to Longo. During the 2018 season, he was listed as a team member on the UVA football website, but he did not appear in any games.

Hours after Jones was arrested, first-year head football coach Tony Elliott sat alone outside the team’s athletic building, his head in his hands at moments. He stated that the victims “were all excellent kids” and that he would discuss them further “when the time is appropriate.”

Jones was brought to the attention of the university’s threat-assessment team this autumn when an individual unaffiliated with the school reported a remark Jones allegedly made about owning a gun, according to Longo.

There was no threat associated with the firearm, but officials investigated and followed up with Jones’ roommate.

Longo reportedly said Jones was the subject of a “hazing inquiry of some kind.” He stated that he did not have all of the facts and circumstances of that case, but that the investigation was ended because witnesses refused to participate.

Longo added that officials knew of a previous incident outside Charlottesville involving a firearms violation. He claimed that the incident was not properly reported to the institution.

Suspect caught in fatal shooting of 3 U.Va. football players - WISH-TV |  Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic

Em Gunter, a second-year anthropology student, was studying genetics in her dorm room when she heard three gunshots followed by three more.

She knew there was an active shooter outside immediately away and advised everyone to go into their rooms, close their blinds, and turn out the lights. “Everyone in the corridor was terrified. “Nobody knew what to do,” she explained.

She sat in her dorm with a buddy for the next 12 hours, listening to a police scanner and messaging her family and friends who were stuck in different parts of campus.

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Active shooter drills have taught students how to respond, she says.

“How do we deal with it after that?” She inquired. “What will it be like in a week, in a month?”

The editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, Eva Surovell, stated that when students received an alert about an active shooter, she hurried to the parking garage but found it cordoned off by police. When she arrived at a nearby junction, she was advised to take cover.

“My age has obviously grown up with generic gun violence,” she added, “but it doesn’t make it any easier when it’s your own community.”

In a statement to the UVA community, Ryan and Provost Ian Baucom announced that classes and other academic activities will be suspended on Tuesday. A university-wide vigil will be held at a later date.

In other news, authorities in Moscow, Idaho, were looking into the deaths of four University of Idaho students discovered Sunday in a residence near campus.

According to police, officers discovered the deaths while responding to a report of an incapacitated person.

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