University of Virginia Mass Shooting Suspect Is Now in Custody

University of Virginia student and former football player Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., 22, has been apprehended and is in police custody.
Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. (University of Virginia Police Department)

The University of Virginia student and former football player accused of shooting and killing three people on campus overnight and injuring two others is now in police custody after a more than 12-hour manhunt.

Charlottesville Police Chief Thomas Longo learned that Christopher Darnell, Jones Jr., 22, had been apprehended, midway through a press conference Monday.

Longo paused after learning the news, saying he wanted to “take a moment to thank God, and breathe a sigh of relief.” 


The accused shooter, armed with a handgun, opened fire on a charter bus that had just returned to UVA’s campus in Charlottesville after a field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C., Sunday night, Longo said. Three current UVA football players were killed: Sean Perry (linebacker). Lavel Davis Jr. (wide receiver), and Devin Chandler (wide receiver). Two others were injured and are being treated in hospital. The extent of their injuries are not currently known. 

Authorities received reports of shots fired at a parking garage on UVA “Grounds,” which is what the school calls its campus, at around 10:30 p.m. local time.

The suspected shooter then fled the scene, and students were advised to shelter in place for hours while authorities searched for him. It’s not clear where the shooter was ultimately apprehended. 

Longo said that the shooter was on university officials’ radar. In September, someone unaffiliated with the university reported that Jones had talked about owning a gun (though they never saw the firearm themselves). The Office of Student Affairs made efforts to contact Jones and even spoke with his roommate who said they’d never seen a weapon. 

The suspect had also come to the attention of the school’s threat assessment team because he was “involved in a hazing incident of some sort,” Longo said. “I don’t know the facts of that investigation. I know it was closed due to witnesses who would not cooperate with the process.” 

Longo also said that the school had learned the suspect had previously been charged with a concealed weapon violation that occurred outside of the city of Charlottesville, in 2021, which he failed to disclose to the university. 

Sunday’s shooting at UVA is a reminder that, like anywhere else in the United States, college campuses are not exempt from the national scourge of gun violence. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 624 mass shootings so far in 2022 (defined as four or more individuals shot or killed, not including the shooter). 

In 2017, hundreds of white supremacists and neo-Nazis also marched across the school’s campus holding torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us.” The following day, those same groups participated in a violent hate rally in Charlottesville’s streets that left one counterprotester dead.

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