A suspect involved in the Sunday shooting incident at the University of Virginia (UVA) is now in custody, putting an end to an hours-long manhunt, according to the UVA police.
During a press conference at 11 a.m. EST on Monday, a captain interrupted UVA Police Chief Timothy J. Longo to notify him that Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. had been taken into custody somewhere off-campus.
“I just need a moment to thank God and breathe a sigh of relief,” Longo said.
Jones was arrested without incident around 11 a.m. about 80 miles east of Charlottesville, according to Henrico County police. As per a law enforcement source, CNN reported that Jones was pulled over while driving.
Police have not yet offered a motive for the November 13 shooting, which saw three people killed and two injured.
Longo said Jones faces three charges of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, but those charges may be amended in the future.
Earlier in the morning, UVA President Jim Ryan identified the three deceased victims as UVA linebacker D’Sean Perry and UVA wide receivers Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler.
The other two hospitalized victims are also UVA football players, according to Fox News, and Jones himself is an ex-UVA football player.
“This is a sad, shocking, and tragic day for our UVA community,” Ryan said. “Let me say how deeply sorry I am for the three victims and for their family and friends.”
The shooting took place on a bus returning from a class field trip to Washington, D.C., according to university officials.
Ryan said police responded to a report of shots fired around 10:30 p.m. near a parking garage surrounded by academic buildings on Culbreth Road.
Two of the deceased victims were killed inside the bus, while the third was taken to a hospital where he died, according to Chief Longo.
Prior to the shooting, campus authorities became aware of Jones when they found out he had allegedly “made a comment about possessing a gun” to someone “unaffiliated with the university,” Longo said.
He added, “Through the course of the threat assessment team’s investigation, we learned of a prior criminal incident involving a concealed weapon violation that occurred outside the city of Charlottesville in February of 2021.”
Longo said Jones was required to report to the university regarding the incident but apparently never did, and was also involved in a hazing investigation on campus that was closed because witnesses would not cooperate.
“[It is] important to share that information with you,” Longo said, “to let you know that he had been called to our attention.”