Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin visited UVA on Tuesday morning to place flowers at the memorial for three football players who were allegedly killed by a former teammate during a field trip.
It remains to be determined what the motive behind the shooting at the on-campus parking lot charter bus is. Also, how Christopher Darnell Jones, a student suspect, obtained the gun used in the shooting, despite his criminal history and campus ban on firearms. After a 12-hour manhunt, Jones was captured after extensive searches of university grounds.
It’s horrible, it’s really horrific and we have three young men whose lives were cut short. Youngkin stated Tuesday that it was a time for everyone to acknowledge the fact that families will need to be supported. It’s absolutely terrible that the community needs to be supported. I want to also thank our law enforcement… We want pray for the two students still in hospital. This is an opportunity for us all to recognize how insignificant certain things are relative to the challenges this community and their families face today.
Jones was charged with three counts each of second-degree murder and three counts each of using a firearm in the commission of a crime in relation to the deaths of three active UVA football players Devin Chandler (Lavel Davis) and D’Sean Perry (). Two additional counts of malicious injury were added to the case against Jones in relation to the surviving victims. These include a UVA football player Michael Hollins Jr., and Marlee Morgan (a sophomore student).
Morgan was released from the hospital after Hollins had a second surgery on Tuesday.
Youngkin, a Republican has been criticised for prioritizing other issues such as fighting critical race theory at schools and strengthening parental rights over gun control.
Investigators are yet to disclose how Jones got the handgun that was used in the shooting. It is unclear if any legislation could have prevented or modified the events leading to the shooting.
“You’ll be happy to know that the governor of Virginia a life NRA member, prays for the University of Virginia,” Shannon Watts (founder of Moms Demand Action), tweeted Monday. His priorities include restricting trans rights, critical-race theory, and abortion. He has done little to reduce gun violence.”
Watts replied to Youngkin, “If your prayers were not followed by action, the University of Virginia shooting wouldn’t have taken place.” “DO YOUR JOB.”
According to university policy, UVA prohibits firearms.
Youngkin is taking steps to improve school safety.
The governor responded in February to bomb threats made against Virginia’s historically-black colleges and universities.
Youngkin stated that he was angry and concerned about the recent bomb threat pattern plaguing our historically black colleges and universities. “Today, today, I spoke with the presidents Virginia’s HBCUs about the disturbing repeated threats against their schools. Next week, I will request that the General Assembly provide emergency funding for our HBCUs to ensure campus safety and security. I will continue to work with them to ensure the safety of our HBCU faculty and students.
Governor’s budget included $45 million for school resources officers and $400 million to support law enforcement. Youngkin supported K-12 digital mapping in Virginia to improve school safety in the wake of tragedies at Uvalde, Texas. More than 1,000 schools are now participating.
Jones was placed under arrest Wednesday, just a day short of his 23rd Birthday. The prosecutors provided more information about Jones prior criminal history after his first court appearance.
Jones was arrested in Chesterfield County (Virginia) on February 22, 2021 for conceal weapons violations. In that case, he was convicted on June 10, 2021. There were still outstanding warrants in Petersburg County for hit-and run property damage and reckless driving at the time of his arrest.
Jones was sentenced for 12 months after the case was heard in Petersburg County, on October 28, 2021. The sentences in both cases were suspended by James M. Hingeley, Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Jones, , a freshman at UVA, walked onto the team in 2018, but never played in a game. He was on the UVA threat assessment team’s radar for an alleged criminal offense involving a weapon violation that occurred outside Charlottesville, University Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. stated at a Monday press conference. Jones was being investigated for administrative violations of UVA’s reporting requirements. Jones was not a member of the football team for longer than one year.
Longo stated that Jones was also subject to a previous hazing investigation. However, the probe was ultimately closed because witnesses refused to cooperate with the process. At a follow up press conference Tuesday with Jones, Carla Williams, UVA Athletics Director, said that she wasn’t aware of the hazing incident and didn’t have any additional details beyond what was stated by the police on Monday.
Jones’ father claimed that he believed his son was being targeted and that was becoming paranoid.