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Exterior of Rotunda at University of Virginia designed by Thomas Jefferson, Charlottesville, VA

Source: Joe Sohm/Visions of America / Getty

UPDATED: 12:45 p.m. 

The suspect in the mass shooting on the campus of the University of Virginia (UVA) had been known to the local law enforcement since earlier this school year, according to UVA’s police chief.

Police Chief Tim Longo told reporters on Monday that his department had been previously made aware of reports about Christopher Darnell Jones with a gun.

“I want you to know [that]…Mr. Jones came to the attention of the University of Virginia’s threat assessment team in the fall of 2022,” Longo said. “They received information that Mr. Jones had made a comment about possessing a gun to a person that was unaffiliated with the university.”

Longo said the report was related to an allegation of hazing. The ensuing investigation uncovered a “prior criminal incident involving a concealed weapon violation that occurred outside the city of Charlottesville in February of 2021.” The police chief said “that matter is still pending adjudication.”

UPDATED: 11:40 a.m. with suspect’s arrest.

The prime suspect in shootings on the campus of the University of Virginia (UVA) has been identified as a former football player at the Charlottesville school who arrived at college as an honors student.

Christopher Darnell Jones was arrested late Monday morning more than eight hours after he allegedly killed three people and injured two others during a shooting rampage at a parking garage on campus.

The three fatal victims were identified as UVA football players.

Wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. and linebacker and defensive end D’Sean Perry were named as two of the fatal victims of a shooting that took place late Sunday night in a parking garage on UVA’s campus, according to a report from local news outlet 10 News. Wide receiver Devin Chandler was also identified as a fatal victim of the shooting.

From the Daily Progress:

The shooting at around 10:30 p.m. Sunday “resulted in three fatalities; two additional victims were injured and are receiving medical care,” President Jim Ryan said in a letter to the university community posted on social media.

The university’s emergency management issued an alert on Monday night notifying the campus community of an “active attacker firearm.” The message warned students to shelter in place following a report of shots fired on Culbreth Road on the campus.

The UVA Police Department posted a notice online saying multiple police agencies including the state police were searching for a suspect who was considered “armed and dangerous.”

No additional information about the victims was immediately released.

A bio on UVA’s sports website describes Jones as a one-time football player who was on the Cavaliers’ roster for one season in 2018, though it also said he never played one game.

The bio includes information about Jones in high school in Petersburg, Virginia:

Played linebacker and running back at Petersburg High School for head coach Michael Scott … earned honorable mention all-conference honors as a senior … spent first three years of high school at Varina High School where he earned honorable mention all-conference as a freshman and second-team accolades as a sophomore and junior … member of the National Honor Society … National Technical Honor Society … president of Key Club … president of Jobs for Virginia Grads Program … named Student of the Year as a freshman and sophomore at Varina … son of Margo Ellis and Christopher Jones, Sr. … has three siblings, Eliza, Darrius and Varian.

The New York Times referred to the suspect as a “student,” though the status of Jones’ enrollment at UVA was not immediately clear.

A glimpse into Jones’ past may provide some clues about Sunday night’s shooting.

In a profile published by the Richmond Times Dispatch in 2018, Christopher Darnell Jones was described as a soon-to-be high school graduate who had a history of “a fractured family, school fighting and suspensions, and one that began in Richmond, in two-bedroom apartments in the Essex Village and Mosby Court housing complexes.”

This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.

SEE ALSO:

HBCU Homecoming Violence Highlights Complex Issue Of Safety At Black Colleges

The Importance Of Prioritizing Safety For Black Students On College Campuses

 

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