Tragedy at UVa – Suspect now in Custody – Troubling Reports about UVa Police Effectiveness

by James C. Sherlock

D’Sean Perry. Courtesy of the Charlottesville Daily Progress

From the Charlottesville Daily Progress:

“Sean Perry, 22, and a linebacker and defensive end for the University of Virginia football team, is one of three people who was shot dead at Culbreth Garage on UVa Central Grounds at the University of Virginia Sunday night, Perry’s father Sean Perry confirmed Monday morning.

UVa President Jim Ryan said in an email to the community early Monday morning that three students had been killed in the Sunday night shooting. The names of the two other victims who were killed are not available at this time, nor are the names of the two victims who lived.

Classes are cancelled today.

Second Victim Identified. The Richmond Times Dispatch just updated the story with the name of a second deceased victim.

Lavel Davis Jr. catches the ball dating a 2021 game against N.C. State – courtesy Daily Progress

“CHARLOTTESVILLE – Virginia wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. was one of two football players shot and killed Sunday night, according to a Tweet from his cousin, Newberry College assistant football coach Sean Lampkin.”

More about Mr. Davis here.  He was from Dorchester, S.C.

Third victim.  From the Charlottesville Daily Progress:

The third victim killed in Sunday night’s shooting at the University of Virginia was Cavaliers wide receiver Devin Chandler, UVa president Jim Ryan confirmed Monday morning.

Devin Chandler (with ball) at practice. Courtesy Daily Progress.

Chandler was in his first season with Virginia after transferring from Wisconsin this past offseason. He was a Huntersville, N.C. native

The suspected shooter. The UVa Police Department released on Twitter a statement that it is looking for Christopher Darnell Jones, an ex-football player (walk-on) (2018) and current UVa student, in relation to the incident.  Jones was a graduate and football player at Petersburg High.

(The suspected shooter, Chris) Jones had been an academic as well as an athletic standout at Varina High School in Petersburg. Jones was a member of the National Honor Society, president of the Key Club and student of the year in his freshman and sophomore years at (Petersburg) High School in Petersburg.”

Mr. Jones was the only member of his class at Petersburg High to attend UVa.  AP reports that he is now in custody.

Christopher Darnell Jones

Latest reports indicate that both the shooter and the victims were on a bus together returning from a field trip to see a play at a theater in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

The names of the two other victims who lived have not been released.

At a press conference, Chief Longo indicated that Mr. Jones had been brought to the attention of the University Threat Assessment Team after a report that he had a gun.  From the Charlottesville Daily Progress:

“Jones caught the attention of the UVa Police Department Threat Assessment team earlier this year when his name appeared in a hazing investigation, according to UVa Police chief Tim Longo. During the investigation, police found that Jones had been charged with having a concealed weapon in February, 2021. According to Longo, the hazing investigation was closed because witnesses would not cooperate.”

UVa Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer Robyn Hadley confirmed that earlier this fall, Student Affairs told UVa police that Jones told someone unaffiliated with the university that he had a gun. Jones’ roommate told police that he had never actually seen the gun, according to Longo.”

Those are very troubling reports about the effectiveness of the UVa police.

Utterly heartbreaking for the families, the UVa community and Petersburg.

Updated 1:07 PM.