Attorney General Jason Miyares has agreed to conduct an external review of the events that led up to the shooting deaths of three University of Virginia students Sunday. He will enlist special counsel to assist his office in the completion of its work, said spokesperson Victoria LaCivita.
The review will produce a report to be shared with students, families, the larger UVa community, and government officials. “The Attorney General will work with deliberate speed while ensuring that all necessary resources remain devoted to the criminal investigation being conducted by state and local authorities,” she said.
Miyares’ statement comes after a request for the review issued by the UVa Board of Visitors. In a letter to the Attorney General, Rector Witt Clement wrote the following:
University Police have requested that the Virginia State Police assume primary responsibility for the continued criminal investigation of this tragic incident. University Police officials, along with other state and federal law enforcement agencies, will continue to assist the Virginia State Police in the criminal investigation of this matter, which we expect will support successful prosecution of [the alleged shooter Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr.], a fellow University student.
As the investigation proceeds, there are many valid questions about the shooting that have yet to be answered and are unlikely to be answered in the course of criminal proceedings.
Accordingly, we write today to request that you exercise your authority under Virginia law to appoint outside special counsel with expertise in these matters to conduct an independent review of the University’s response to the shooting, as well as the efforts the University undertook in the period before the tragedy to assess the potential threat Mr. Jones posed to our community. Finally, we request that the special counsel review all relevant University policies and procedures and make recommendations if opportunities or needs for change are identified.