Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, have detained Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., the suspect in a shooting near a University of Virginia parking garage on Sunday that killed three people and wounded two others.
Jones fled the scene following the shooting, and the university issued orders for students to shelter in place Sunday evening. As he was giving a press conference Monday, UVA Police Chief Tim Longo was told that Jones had been detained.
Sometime in the past few months, a person unaffiliated with the school called UVA’s student affairs office with concerns about Jones, who made a comment about owning a gun, Longo said. The comment wasn’t paired with a threat, and officers followed up with Jones’ roommate, who “didn’t report seeing the presence of a weapon” at the time, he said.
Police believe Jones, a former UVA football player, killed three current players on the football team: Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler. Davis, a wide receiver, had been named a contender for the 2022 Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Jones allegedly killed the three students on a charter bus, where they had been on a field trip to see a theatrical play in D.C., police said.
“We found [the victims] on that bus,” Longo said.
Longo added that Jones had been under investigation by university officials over a “hazing incident,” and that he had previously been penalized for a concealed weapons violation in February 2021.
Jones’ relationship to the slain victims remains unclear.
Jones faces three counts of second-degree murder and three felony weapons charges.
At a press conference Monday, Rep.-elect Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.) told reporters one of his campaign fellows attends UVA and “had to run for his life” during the shooting.
“It just shows what gun violence does,” he said. “It takes a hundred lives a day. The leading cause of death for children went from automobile accidents to gun violence.”
The White House echoed that sentiment in a written statement offering condolences to the countless families, friends and neighbors grieving for those killed.
“Too many families across America are bearing the awful burden of gun violence,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets.”