What we know about the suspect in the deadly University of Virginia shooting

By  and , CNN

CNN — Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., the 22-year-old suspect accused of killing three football players and wounding two other people, had prior contact with campus officials about a gun, authorities said Monday.

UVA's student affairs office investigated a report that Jones once told someone not with the university that he possessed a gun.

UVA’s student affairs office investigated a report that Jones once told someone not with the university that he possessed a gun.

University of Virginia Police

Jones, a former football player, faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony in connection to Sunday night’s shooting, UVA Police Chief Tim Longo said.

In September, a person who does not go to or work for the university reported Jones made a comment about having a gun, according to Longo.

The Office of Student Affairs reported to the multidisciplinary threat assessment team that officials had received information from that unaffiliated person that Jones talked about possessing a gun, the chief said. The comment about owning a gun was not made in conjunction with any threats, Longo said.

Charlottesville police secure a crime scene of an overnight shooting at the University of Virginia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Charlottesville. Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Student suspect in custody after 3 football players shot dead and 2 people wounded at the University of Virginia, police say

The person said they never saw the gun, to the best of investigators’ knowledge, Longo said. Jones’ roommate also didn’t report seeing a weapon, according to the chief, citing the student affairs office investigation.

The chief said the investigators reached out to Jones, but Longo didn’t say what the result was. Through the course of the threat assessment team’s investigation, officials learned of an incident involving a concealed weapon violation that occurred outside Charlottesville in February 2021, Longo added.

Jones didn’t report the case to university officials as required, the chief said. The university’s judicial council took over the case and the results are still pending, he added.

Jones was also involved in a hazing investigation on campus, Longo said, but the probe was eventually ended due to witnesses who would not cooperate.

In 2018, Jones was a freshman on the football team as a running back but didn’t play in any games, according to his biography on the athletics department website. A university spokesperson said he joined the team but had an old injury that prevented him from practicing and he went through rehabilitation and treatment. It was his only season as part of the team.

Left to right: Devin Chandler, D'Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr.

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UVA President Jim Ryan said Monday the suspect was a student at the school in Charlottesville. The shooting happened in a parking garage as a bus returned from a field trip, he added.

Authorities do not have a full understanding of Jones’ motive, Ryan said.

His father, Chris Jones Sr., told CNN affiliate WTVR that his son was “real paranoid … about something. He wouldn’t tell me everything.”

Some people were picking on him and Jones Jr. said he didn’t know how to handle it, the father told WTKR of a conversation they had a month ago when his son visited. He said he advised his son to just go to class and ignore them.

The father apologized for his son’s alleged actions and said he couldn’t believe it was him when he was told the news by police.

Jones is from Petersburg, about 24 miles south of Richmond. He went to Varina High School in Henrico County – about 30 minutes from Petersburg – for three years where he was a star football player, a member of the National Honor Society, president of the Key Club and student of the year as a freshman and sophomore, according to the UVA football website.

He played his senior season at Petersburg High School where he was honorable mention all-conference as a running back and linebacker.

Jones was taken into custody Monday afternoon in Henrico County, authorities said.


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