Authorities say the suspect who opened fire at the University of Virginia (UVA) on Sunday night, killing three people and injuring two others, has been taken into police custody.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., identified as a current UVA student, was apprehended Monday morning following an overnight manhunt after he allegedly opened fire inside a bus full of university students returning from a field trip.
The shooting happened late Sunday night in a campus parking garage on a bus “full of students” returning from a field trip, university president Jim Ryan said. Police responded to a call of shots fired at around 10:30 pm.
“I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia,” said Ryan in an online message to the university community early Monday morning. According to Ryan, classes were canceled, and counseling and psychological support were made available to students and faculty.
At a press conference Monday morning, officials identified the three students shot and killed as Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry, CBS News reports. All three victims were UVA football players who had just returned from a trip to see a play when the shooting took place. Two other students were wounded and remained hospitalized.
During the press conference, Tim Longo, the university’s police chief, learned of the suspect’s apprehension. “We just received information that the suspect is in custody,” Longo said. “Just need a moment to thank God and breathe a sigh of relief,” he continued.
According to Longo, Jones Jr. will face three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony. Officials also said that in the fall of 2022, Jones Jr. was reported to school staff for possibly possessing a gun.
A shelter-in-place order was lifted by UVA police around 11:30(ET) this morning. However, a significant police presence will reportedly remain in place on the campus. No motive is known at this time.