UVA shooting suspect shot one victim while he was sleeping, appeared to be “aiming at certain individuals,” the prosecutor says

A witness who noticed a University of Virginia pupil open hearth on a bus coming back from a subject journey described to the police how the gunman focused particular victims — lots of them soccer gamers — shooting one of them as he slept, a prosecutor mentioned in courtroom Wednesday. The particulars emerged throughout the suspect’s first courtroom look.

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley mentioned a witness who was proven a photograph of the shooting suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., recognized him as the gunman. The violence Sunday night time left three soccer gamers useless and one participant and one other pupil wounded.

The suspect, a former soccer participant, appeared by video hyperlink from an area jail for Wednesday’s courtroom listening to. He didn’t enter a plea to the quite a few costs he faces and mentioned he plans to rent an legal professional. A decide ordered him held with out bond and appointed a public defender to signify him till he secures non-public counsel.

University officers and police have mentioned the 22-year-old suspect joined a bunch of about two dozen others on a subject journey Sunday from the Charlottesville campus to see a sport in the nation’s capital, about 120 miles away. When their bus arrived again on campus, authorities have mentioned the suspect opened hearth, killing Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler.

From left, college football players Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr.  and D'Sean Perry are seen in a combination photo of undated images provided by University of Virginia Athletics.
From left, faculty soccer gamers Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry are seen in a mixture picture of undated photographs supplied by University of Virginia Athletics.

University of Virginia Athletics by way of AP


One witness instructed police the suspect pointed the gun at Chandler, shot him while he was sleeping, and Chandler slid to the flooring, Hingeley mentioned.

The witness mentioned the suspect was “aiming at certain individuals” and never shooting randomly, in accordance to Hingeley.

Responding officers discovered Chandler and Perry useless on the bus, Hingeley mentioned. Davis died from his wounds at a hospital, he mentioned.

The public defender appointed to signify the suspect didn’t tackle the substance of the costs Wednesday. She additionally declined to remark exterior the courtroom.

The decide set a December standing listening to in the case.

Authorities mentioned the suspect was ready to flee the shooting scene, setting off a manhunt and a 12-hour campus lockdown earlier than he was taken into custody elsewhere in the state late Monday morning. The suspect faces three counts of second-degree homicide, two counts of malicious wounding and extra gun-related costs.

The violence at the state’s flagship public college has set off days of mourning amongst college students and school, the broader Charlottesville group and different supporters. Classes resume Wednesday.

University President Jim Ryan mentioned Monday that authorities didn’t have a “full understanding” of the motive behind the shooting. Court paperwork filed to this point in the matter have provided no extra perception, and Hingeley didn’t tackle a doable motive Wednesday.

In a video assertion posted to Facebook on Wednesday night time, Ryan mentioned “it is doable, and maybe doubtless, that we’ll by no means discover one single factor that can clarify this. It can also be that we by no means really perceive why this occurred.”

Ryan mentioned that the faculty is “inviting an exterior overview with respect to the college’s interactions with the suspect, and whether or not we did all we may to stop or keep away from this tragedy.”

Flowers were left outside Scott Stadium at a makeshift memorial for three slain University of Virginia football players on November 14, 2022, in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Flowers had been left exterior Scott Stadium at a makeshift memorial for 3 slain University of Virginia soccer gamers on November 14, 2022, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Win McNamee/Getty Images


Also Wednesday, the faculty introduced that it was canceling its remaining house sport of the season scheduled for Saturday towards Coastal Carolina. Ryan mentioned Wednesday night time that there would as a substitute be a memorial service Saturday “to honor the lives” of the three slain soccer gamers, together with the two different college students who had been wounded.

In saying the cancellation, the college mentioned in a information launch that no determination has been made but about whether or not UVA will take part in its remaining sport of the season Nov. 26 towards Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

The suspect was a member of the soccer group throughout the 2018 season, a one-semester walk-on, in accordance to athletics director Carla Williams.

In interviews, his father expressed confusion and astonishment and apologized to the victims’ households.

Of the two college students who had been hospitalized, one was discharged from the medical heart Tuesday, in accordance to Eric Swensen, a well being system spokesperson.

Family members of Mike Hollins, a working again on the group, have mentioned he underwent a second surgical procedure Tuesday.

In her first tv interview since the shooting, Hollins’ mom Brenda Hollins instructed CBS News that her son doesn’t but know three of his buddies and teammates had been killed.

In courtroom Wednesday, Hingeley additionally reviewed the suspect’s previous prison document. In February 2021, he was charged in Chesterfield County with possession of a hid handgun with no allow and later given a 12-month suspended sentence, Hingeley mentioned.

At the time of that arrest, the suspect had two excellent warrants in reference to a hit-and-run accident with property harm and reckless driving from Petersburg. He was convicted of each costs and in addition given 12-month suspended sentences on each, Hingeley mentioned.

The college has mentioned the suspect’s failure to report the misdemeanor hid weapon conviction was a consideration in an ongoing overview of him by its threat-assessment group. The college initially mentioned its pupil affairs workplace had escalated the suspect’s case in late October to the University Judiciary Committee, a student-run physique that might have enacted disciplinary motion. But late Tuesday night time, a spokesperson confirmed that the college had not truly escalated the report and was engaged on doing so.

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