Bice House – All photos and diagrams courtesy University of Virginia
by James C. Sherlock
Updated Nov. 19 at 8:50 AM. See details at end.
So, the University of Virginia conducted a formal threat investigation of allegations of student possession of firearms on the Grounds.
Except it really didn’t.
The accused was found after three murders and two woundings to have possessed in his dorm room a small arsenal.
The Threat Assessment Team (TAT) knew that the student had been accused of talking of possessing a gun. That was the reason the TAT was convened.
The TAT had access to State Police records including
- his legal gun purchases;
- his conviction in Chesterfield County on a concealed weapon charge, a misdemeanor;
- his Petersburg conviction on a felony hit-and-run charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor; and
- the fact that he was on suspended jail sentences for both of the crimes.
Let’s see who they sent to interview him. From the Charlottesville Daily Progress:
However, (Chief) Longo noted, neither the off-Grounds tipster nor Jones’s roommate ever saw a weapon, and Longo implied that the Office of Student Affairs unsuccessfully attempted to speak to Jones.
They sent someone from the Office of Student Affairs. On a gun-threat issue. What could have gone wrong? It is perhaps a good thing the student refused to cooperate.
TAT members individually had all the authority and evidence they needed to inspect his room on university property, seize the weapons and, as a result, arrest and ban him from the grounds (possession of weapons on university property), expel him, and evict him from University housing.
They did none of that. They “meant” to refer him to the student-run Judiciary Committee. For a three-month wait for a trial and a stern warning or community service. The University actually announced that had happened. But that announcement was not true.
They later announced there was a “snafu.”
The student, the now-accused murderer, was treated with extreme and deadly deference by University security officials.
Three young men are dead. Continue reading