On Sun., Nov. 13, while returning from a field trip in Washington D.C., 22-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. allegedly shot at five fellow University of Virginia students. The shooting killed Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry, and injured Mike Hollins and Marlee Morgan. Davis, Chandler, Perry, and Hollins were all members of the University’s football team, with Davis and Chandler listed as wide receivers, Perry a defensive back, and Hollins a running back. Authorities detained the suspected killer, later identifying him as Jones. Police charged him with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of handgun use in the effort to commit a felony, along with two counts of malicious wounding using a firearm.
Police took Jones, the former 2018 University of Virginia running back, into custody in Henrico County, Virginia, the next day; his trial is currently set for Dec. 8. During a court hearing on Wed., Nov. 16, the judge denied Jones the option of bail. Jones was among the students traveling to Washington D.C. for the field trip and opened fire on the students after returning to Virginia University. Records show that Jones attempted to purchase firearms in the past, including an instance earlier this year. An investigation was later opened against Jones because of a comment he made about possessing a firearm. Virginia students were shocked by the events of the shooting, with one student anonymously stating, “We thought he was going to shoot everyone on the bus.”
The University of Virginia made sure to remember their students and friends; on Nov. 19 the football team canceled its game against Coastal Carolina University in order to hold a memorial for their lost teammates. The team continued to cancel its upcoming games, including its season finale against rival Virginia Tech University, with Virginia head coach Tony Elliott expressing, “The message to the team is we’re going to celebrate their lives going forward and the impact that they’ve made thus far and the legacy that they’re going to be a part of helping us establish going forward.” The university’s men’s basketball team canceled its game versus Northern Iowa University on Nov. 14. Students also showed support for their classmates by organizing a 15-minute period of silence on campus. Jones’s firearm incident adds to the increasing number of shootings in the United States recently.
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