University of Virginia student shot suspect Christopher Darnell Jones was arrested in traffic stops while in possession of semiautomatic weapons and failed background checks to purchase guns.
Jones, a UVA student, was arrested in connection with the murders of three UVA football players , Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis, and the wounding of the surviving victims, active UVA footballer Michael Hollins Jr., and Marlee Morgan.
According to records, Jones was found carrying a concealed 9mm semiautomatic pistol at a Chesterfield County traffic stop on February 22, 2021. Officers pulled Jones over on Jones’s right near Boisseau Street, and Third Avenue. The registration for Jones’ vehicle was not back on file.
Police said that he was in possession of the gun, but he did not possess a permit.
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Officers also found Jones wanted in Petersburg, Virginia on two unpaid charges for failing to stop for an injury accident that resulted in more than 1,000 in damages and reckless driving. This incident occurred Aug. 9, 2020. The Daily Progress, a Charlottesville newspaper, reported.
Jones was taken into custody for the outstanding warrants.
He was also accused of carrying concealed weapons without a permit. He was later convicted by Chesterfield General District Court for that misdemeanor on June 10, 2021.
Jones was given a $100 fine and a 12-month sentence that was then suspended.
On Wednesday, Jones’ gun purchasing history and three previous failed attempts at buying firearms were also disclosed.
According to Marlon Dance, the store owner, Jones purchased two guns at Dance’s Sporting Goods, Colonial Heights, Virginia this year. He issued a statement for The Daily Progress.
Dance stated that there was nothing notable about the purchases.
Jones purchased a Glock 45 9mm pistol and a rifle on February 19, as well as a Glock 45 9mm handgun with an additional magazine, on July 8.
Jones tried to purchase guns at the same shop before, but was turned down three times.
Dance stated that the state authorities were notified of these attempts. Jones tried to purchase a handgun on December 31, 2018. He was 21 years old at the time and could legally buy one. Jones tried again in 2019.
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Dance stated that both attempted purchases were forwarded on to the Virginia State Police for further investigation.
Jones tried to purchase a Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 rifle,.22 caliber, on July 8, 2021.
According to the gun shop owner, the background check was unable to be performed due to Jones’ pending felony case in Petersburg.
Jones pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of “not reporting an incident under $1,000” on Oct. 28, 2021. Jones was sentenced to a further 12-month term, which was then suspended.
The Daily Progress reported that Jones also pleaded not guilty to reckless driving. According to The Daily Progress, Jones was able and allowed to legally purchase guns in 2022 because the felony charge had been reduced to a misdemeanor.
Two jurisdictions issued the suspended 12-month sentences.
Police say Jones used a handgun in an alleged targeted shooting of a charter bus on Sunday night. The incident occurred as the bus was returning from a field trip to Washington, D.C., to see a play. It is unclear if the same gun was purchased at Dance’s Sporting Goods.
After a 12-hour manhunt, more than 500 students were found safe in place after the search of school grounds. Jones was arrested on campus in Henrico (Virginia).
On Wednesday, UVA President Jim Ryan made a video statement announcing that a memorial service would be held to remember the victims in place of Saturday’s last home game at John Paul Jones Arena at 3:30 pm. Ryan said that he would welcome an “external assessment” of Jones’ handling by the college before the shooting.
Ryan stated that the criminal investigation was underway and that an external review is being requested regarding the university’s interactions and the possible consequences for the victim. This will take some time, but we will share what we learn and then act. It is possible and likely that we won’t find the answer to this question. This could also mean that we will never fully understand the reasons for this. We will share what we find.”
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According to reports, the UVA threat assessment team heard from Jones in September this year. Jones had told someone that he owned a gun. UVA bans firearms on campus, regardless of whether you have a concealed carry permit.
Police claimed Jones was also subject to a hazing investigation. However, the probe was dropped later because witnesses refused to cooperate.
Jones was also monitored by UVA’s threat assessment group in relation to an alleged criminal act involving a weapon violation that occurred outside Charlottesville, Virginia, February 2021. Jones was currently facing administrative charges by the university’s judiciary council because he failed to report the matter, as required for students.
Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), reportedly encouraged UVA officials and the state to create an independent panel to examine the shooting on Wednesday. Kaine, who was governor of Virginia at that time, did the same after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.
Hollins is still in critical but stable condition and has not been told by his doctors that three of his closest friends and teammates have died.
Brenda Hollins, Brenda’s mother, spoke to CBS News Tuesday to say that he “made it off of the bus unscathed” but then “went back to help his friend and was shot.”
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She stated that her son cannot speak, but can communicate by writing on paper. According to his mother, he was able to spell out the names and letters of his three friends. He also “was taking the marker and beating it because he wanted to know.” She stated that she had not yet been able to tell Hollins about her recovery.
Since then, the second victim has been released from hospital.