Christopher Darnell Jones, Suspect in University of Virginia Massacre, Once Spoke About Traumatic Childhood

After a massive all-night manhunt, police announced Monday that they have finally arrested a University of Virginia student suspected of killing three people and wounding two others in a mass shooting on the school’s main campus Sunday night.

University President Jim Ryan issued a statement early Monday confirming the suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., is “one of our students.”

School officials said Jones opened fire on a bus full of students returning to UVA from a field trip to see a play in the Washington, D.C. area.

Jones is included on the university’s athletics website as a 2018 football player who did not appear in a game, though it is unclear if he is still a UVA student. The three victims—Lavelle Davis Jr., DeSean Berry, and Devin Chandler—were identified by Ryan as members of the school’s football team.

Jones’ mother, Margo Ellis, told The Daily Beast that she “doesn’t talk to reporters right now” when reached by phone Monday.

UVA Police Chief Timothy J. Longo was notified midway through a press conference Monday morning that Jones had been arrested. He added that authorities received a tip from someone at the university last fall that Jones had a gun. The Office of Student Affairs followed up with Jones and his roommate, who said he had never seen a weapon.

During the investigation, UVA police learned of a concealed gun violation in February 2021 that “occurred outside the city of Charlottesville,” Longo said, adding that school rules required Jones to report the case to UVA management but he never did. . Longo said administrative charges through the university’s judicial council are still pending.

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“It was brought to our attention,” Longo said. “I wanted you to hear it from me, not from someone else.”

Jones relatives He told NBC 12 on Monday that he was battered While at UVA. It was known to the school of an alleged adverse incident, school officials said Monday. According to CBS correspondent Olivia Rinaldiwho said that the witnesses at the time “did not cooperate.” A source who knows Jones but asked not to be named told The Daily Beast that he was “bullied” at UVA, “and it was awful.”

In a 2018 article on Jones, it was published Richmond Times Dispatch He painted a picture of a difficult childhood characterized by a “torn family, school fights and class situations”. Jones told the outlet that his father leaving Jones when he was only five years old was “one of the most traumatic things for me.” The article added that Jones attended an alternative school where he was able to avoid bullying, and that he moved in with his grandmother in Petersburg in 2016 after a deteriorating relationship with his mother. He also said that in the two years before he started at UVA, “mentors helped him get his anger out.”

Tracy Baines’ daughter attended Petersburg High School in the Richmond area with Jones, both of whom she knew well, she said.

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“This is out of character, so it’s very, very out of character,” Bynes told The Daily Beast on Monday. And when I say that, I am not saying it to trivialize or obscure the tragedy that occurred. But I know a different Chris.”

A shocked Baines said, through broken tears, that Jones was a conscientious teenager, who did well at school and worked to help around the house.

“I know Chris who helped take care of his mom, who helped take care of his family,” Bynes continued. “I know Chris who got a scholarship to UVA, and it’s just a tragedy for everyone involved.”

However, she said she hasn’t spoken to Jones since he arrived at UVA in 2018 and has “no knowledge of what happened there.”

“It makes it even more painful for me because my first cousin was killed on Thursday in gun violence,” Baines said.

D’Sean Perry’s father first confirmed the Charlottesville restaurant daily progress that his son was among the dead. Berry, 22, was a linebacker who played for the University of Virginia Cavaliers football team.

His father, Sean Berry, said D’Sean was shot on the parking deck of the campus’ Culbreth Garage. He added that he and Shawn’s mother, Happy Berry, were flying to Virginia from their hometown of Miami on Monday.

Lavell Davis Jr., a wide receiver, was identified as another victim by his cousin, Newbury College assistant football coach Sean Lampkin.

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Lampkin wrote in a tweet Monday. “God took one of his most kind, humble, and loving soldiers from the battlefield last night. Please pray for my family as we are devastated by the death of my cousin Lavelle Davis Jr. I love and miss you already, kid.”

The motive for the attack remains unclear.

Shelter-in-place text messages were sent out around 10:40 p.m. Sunday in the aftermath of the attack, and multiple agencies were searching for Jones, who police said was armed and dangerous.

UVA canceled classes on Monday as the shelter-in-place order remained in effect, though the order was lifted at approximately 10:30 a.m. “based on a thorough search of” the college grounds, UVA Police Department said. Charlottesville City Schools also canceled classes for the student body of 4,000 “in order to give the police time to investigate while they search for the suspect in our community.”

On Monday, Democratic Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine exchanged messages of support for the families of the victims. “To think of everything touched by the tragic violence on UVA’s campus,” Warner wrote.

“Sad to hear about yet another community in Virginia that has been devastated by gun violence,” Kane wrote on Twitter. “Praying for the UVA community and monitoring the situation closely.” “We must take more measures to make our communities safer,” he added.


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