Three Students Killed, Two Wounded, by a Classmate While Returning from a Class Trip.
A 22-year-old man has been arrested after police say he shot and killed three football players from the University of Virginia. Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. was arrested in eastern Henrico not far from he was raised after Charlottesville police say he opened fire on a bus full of football players.
During a news conference Monday, University of Virginia president Jim Ryan said three Cavaliers football players were shot and killed: junior receiver Lavel Davis Jr. of Dorchester, South Carolina; junior receiver Devin Chandler of Huntersville, North Carolina; and junior defensive end/linebacker D'Sean Perry of Miami.
Ryan said two other students were shot and were hospitalized; he said one was in good condition and one is in critical condition. Ryan did not identify the other students.
Jones was on the run for more than 12 hours before police finally took him into custody. His father, Christopher Darnell Jones Sr. says he’s still trying to process the accusations against his son.
“I can’t believe it was him,” his father said. “I still can’t believe it now.”
Around 10 a.m. Monday, U.S. Marshalls swarmed Jones’ mother’s home with guns drawn to locate the UVA student and former Cavalier football player, but he was not at the house. At his time, it is unclear if Jones (right) was trying to reach his family before his arrest.
His mother could be seen inside her van sobbing with her children nearby. His mother told NBC12 that he seemed normal when they spoke Sunday and was excited to celebrate his 23rd birthday on Nov. 17.
She says she attempted to call him several times when she learned of the shooting but was unable to reach him over the phone. The suspect’s father says the last time he spoke with his son was a month ago.
“He came to the house he did his laundry, we sat and talked, and he seemed like he was doing really well,” Jones Sr. said. “When we finally had a chance to talk, he said there were some people there who were giving him a hard time, but he still was upbeat, and he was positive. I don’t know what happened between then and now to cause this to happen.”
But his father admits that something was off when he and his son spoke last.
“He had some problems the last time I talked to him. He said some people were picking on him or whatever, he didn’t know how to handle it and I told him just go to school, don’t pay it any mind” the father said. “He was really paranoid when I talked to him about something, but he wouldn’t tell me everything. He was a very sensitive young man.”
Although this is a very tough situation for any parent to be in, his father is apologetic. "I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry on his behalf, and I apologize. He’s not a bad kid. He really isn’t,” Jones Sr. said. “I just don’t know what happened. I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened to cause all of this.”
In a statement, Virginia football coach Tony Elliott said his team is experiencing "devastation and heartache."
"I cannot find the words to express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling today after the tragic events last night that resulted in the deaths of Lavel, D'Sean and Devin, and the others who were injured," Elliott said in the statement. "These were incredible young men with huge aspirations and extremely bright futures. Our hearts ache for their families, their classmates and their friends. These precious young men were called away too soon. We are all fortunate to have them be a part of our lives. They touched us, inspired us and worked incredibly hard as representatives of our program, university and community. Rest in peace, young men."
Jones has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.