Four University of Idaho and three University of Virginia students died in separate tragedies on Sunday. At UVA, a student was arrested and charged with manslaughter in the incident; In Idaho, details of the deaths are murky.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 23, has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder after he shot and killed three UVA students and injured two more on a bus returning to campus from a field trip in Charlottesville. late Sunday evening. Officials said the field trip was part of a university class attending a performance in Washington, DC.
Jones was taken into custody after a 12-hour manhunt by the university, local and state police, and federal agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service. During the hunt, students and staff were in place for more than 12 hours, many of them in libraries and academic buildings. Jones was found on campus shortly after 11 a.m.
Jones is a former member of the varsity football team. The three students who died were current members of the football team. D’Sean Perry was a linebacker from Miami. Devin Chandler was a wide receiver for Virginia Beach. Lavel Davis Jr. was also a wide receiver from Ridgeville, SC
The University Police Department responded to a call about shots fired in the campus parking garage around 10:16 p.m., Sunday. At the scene, officers encountered multiple gunshot wound victims.
“Someone among them decided to commit an act of violence. And we found them dead in that bus. And we had to process the crime scene for hours,” Timothy J. Longo, the university’s vice president for safety and security and police chief, said Monday at a news conference.
Two victims were found dead at the scene and the third was taken to hospital where he died. About 25 students were on the bus, according to university president James E. Ryan.
The two injured students are being treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center. One is in critical condition. Their names were not released by the university.
Jones was also charged with three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, Longo said.
Longo said Jones came to the attention of the university’s threat assessment team this fall after an unaffiliated person reported that Jones had a gun. Longo also said Jones was involved in a hazing investigation that was closed after witnesses did not cooperate with the process. The university later learned that in February 2021, Jones was charged with a felony involving a concealed weapons violation outside of Charlottesville. He did not report the incident to the university.
Students and staff received an emergency call immediately after the shooting was reported, asking them to take cover.
“The entire university community is grieving this morning,” Ryan said at a news conference. “My heart breaks for the victims and their families and everyone who knew and loved them. And they are all in my prayers.
Julissa Bishop, a third-year student, said she had once read an emergency message that included the words “RUN AND HIDE THE FIGHT,” his mother called. He also started texting his friends to tell them he loved them.
“They were just in school, playing on the football team, and now they’re gone,” Bishop said. “I’m so shocked. I don’t know what to do.”
Bishop said he couldn’t sleep until 3 a.m. and woke up just three hours later hoping the suspect had been found. Her family members continued to call and text her when they heard the news.
“The shootings continue and nothing is being done to stop them,” the bishop said. “It makes me nervous. It’s getting out of hand.”
The White House released a statement about the shooting on Monday afternoon. “The President and First Lady join the University of Virginia community in mourning after another deadly shooting in America has claimed the lives of three young people,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the countless families, friends and neighbors grieving the lives and injuries of this senseless shooting.”
Tragedy struck the historic campus in Charlottesville, just 150 miles up the interstate from Virginia Tech, where a mass shooting 15 years ago claimed 33 lives.
Suspected murders in Idaho
Police are investigating the deaths of four Idaho students whose bodies were found in a house near the campus in Moscow, Idaho. Police identified the four victims Monday after notifying their parents: Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Wash. Kaylee GonCalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Ariz.; and Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
The deaths are being investigated as homicides, but police have not released a cause of death and no suspects are in custody. The university initially told students to shelter in place and avoid the area for about an hour after the bodies were found, but the institution’s president, Scott Green, said Sunday night. application sent by email to the university community that police no longer believe there is an active threat.
“An event of this magnitude can understandably have a significant impact on those left behind,” Green wrote. “As vandals, we need to come together and lift each other up.”
The university canceled classes Monday “out of respect for these fellow vandals.” In the statement, Green also reminded students of additional support services and urged anyone concerned about a student or employee to complete a VandalCare report, which notifies the university who may be a danger to themselves or others, or who could benefit. from additional support.
The Moscow Police Department and the university did not immediately respond to requests for comment.