November 14, 2022, 11:50 a.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia (UVA) student who is accused of fatally gunning down three people and wounding two others is in custody, police announced Monday morning.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. was tracked down and captured after a 12-hour manhunt following the blood bath Sunday night, the New York Post reported.
All three murder victims were members of the football team, with two of them discovered inside a bus after returning from a class field trip to see a play, police said.
Jones is facing three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun to commit a felony, authorities confirmed.
“I just need a moment to thank God and breathe a sigh of relief,” said University of Virginia Police Chief Tim Longo at a press conference Monday morning as he got word that Jones had been apprehended.
Longo did not further elaborate on the homicides.
November 14, 2022, 7:40 a.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A student at the University of Virginia is accused of killing three people and wounding two others during a shooting on the Charlottesville campus Sunday night. The gunman, who is also described as a former UVA football player, has not yet been captured.
As of Monday morning, a manhunt is underway for the suspect, identified by authorities as Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. Naturally, he is considered armed and dangerous. According to the school’s athletic department website, he was on the football team in 2018 but never played a game, Fox News Digital reported.
Multiple agencies, including Virginia State Police helicopter, are actively searching for Jones. Police said he might be driving a black SUV with the Virginia license TWX3580.
The mass shooting took place about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Culbreth parking garage. Shortly afterward a campus alert was issued warning the school community to “RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.”
UVA President Jim Ryan also confirmed the deadly rampage took place on university grounds.
Sometime prior to 7 a.m. on Monday, the UVA Police Department and UVA Emergency Management warned via Twitter that an extensive search on the university grounds and nearby locations were taking place. Hence, all persons were directed to continue to shelter in place as there would be a heavy law enforcement presence during the search.
In a message to the community Monday morning, Ryan confirmed that Jones is a student at the university, Fox reported.
“As of writing this, I am heartbroken to report the shooting has resulted in three fatalities; two additional victims were injured and are receiving medical care,” the school president wrote. “Our University Police Department has joined forces with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspect, and we will keep our community apprised for developments as the situation evolves.”
Ryan later added: “This is a message any leader hopes never to have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia. I am holding the victims, their families, and all members of the University of Virginia community in my heart today, and we will make plans to come together as a community to grieve as soon as the suspect is apprehended.”
Vice President and Dean of Students Robyn S. Hadley said in a message to the student body early Monday, “I am on Grounds like many of you; I am sheltering in place and in direct touch with University leadership and UPD.”
“Please, please take the shelter in place commands seriously as the situation remains active. The suspect is armed and dangerous. If you are not inside and safe, immediately seek safety,” the message added.
All university activities were canceled Monday as police engage in the manhunt, Fox reported.
Jones reportedly played football at Varina High School for three years before transferring to Petersburg High School, where as a senior, he played as linebacker and running back, Newsweek reported.
He was featured in a 2018 story for the Richmond Times-Dispatch with the headline, “Petersburg High graduate navigated a fractured path to graduation.”
According to the article, Jones grew up in the Essex Village and Mosby Court housing complexes in Richmond. As a five-year-old child he saw his parents divorce and did have contact with his father again until he was a teenager.
“That was one of the most traumatic things that happened to me in my life. I didn’t understand why he left. When I went to school, people didn’t understand me,” Jones told the newspaper at the time.