UVA shooting suspect shot 1 victim in his sleep: Prosecutor

Southeast

Memorial flowers and notes line walkway at Scott Stadium after three football players were killed in a shooting on the grounds of the University of Virginia Tuesday Nov. 15, 2022, in Charlottesville. Va. Authorities say three people have been killed and two others were wounded in a shooting at the University of Virginia and a student suspect is in custody. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(NewsNation) — The suspect who allegedly killed three people and wounded two others at the University of Virginia late Sunday shot one of the victims in his sleep, a prosecutor in the case said Wednesday.

Christopher Darnell Jones, the suspect and a student at the university, NewsNation local affiliate WAVY reported, appeared in court Wednesday morning via a video monitor at Albemarle County Detention Center. A judge ordered him held without bond, and appointed a public defender to represent him.

A witness during the shooting reported seeing Jones point his gun and fire at specific people, not randomly, Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley said.

The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, on a bus full of students returning from a field trip, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan said during a press conference Monday. Jones,22, joined a group of about two dozen other people on the trip to see a play. When the bus arrived back on campus, authorities said, Jones opened fire, then fled the scene. This led to a manhunt and a 12-hour campus lockdown.

Authorities do not have a “full understanding” of the motive for the shooting, Ryan said. Hingeley did not give a possible motive Wednesday during the hearing.

All three of those who died were UVA football players: Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. Chandler was the one who was asleep when Jones shot him, WAVY reported.

“These were incredible young men with huge aspirations and extremely bright futures. Our hearts ache for their families, their classmates and their friends,” head football coach Tony Elliott said about the victims on Twitter. “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.”

One of the two students hospitalized was discharged from the UVA Medical Center on Tuesday, Eric Swensen, a health system spokesperson, said.

The University of Virginia canceled what would have been its final home game of the season against Coastal Carolina, set for this Saturday, because of the shooting. Classes resumed Wednesday.

Jones was taken into custody 11 a.m. Monday without incident on the border of Henrico and Richmond, Virginia. He is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding and additional gun-related charges.

Athletics director Carla Williams said Jones was a member of the University of Virginia’s football team as a one-semester walk-on during the 2018 season. According to Hingeley, Jones has a past criminal record, which he reviewed in court Wednesday. In Feb. 2021, he was charged with possession of a concealed handgun without a permit. At that time, Jones also had two outstanding warrants in connection with a hit-and-run accident with property damage and reckless driving.

Jones was convicted of both charges, Hingeley said, and given 12-month suspended sentences on both.

His public defender declined to comment on the case outside of court, the AP reported. A status hearing is set for December.

The Associated Press and NewsNation local affiliate WAVY contributed to this report.

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