A Virginia State Police criminal investigation truck is shown at the crime scene where 3 people were killed and 2 others wounded on the grounds of the University of Virginia on November 14, 2022 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Students at the University of Virginia’s campus in Charlottesville are being ordered to shelter in place, while authorities search for an “armed and dangerous man” accused of shooting and killing three people overnight and injuring two more.
The university has identified the suspect as a student and former football player, Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr.
Police received reports of shots fired at a parking garage on “Grounds,” which is what UVA calls its campus, at around 10:30 p.m local time according to a statement from the university. Following the shooting, students were notified of an “active attacker firearm” on campus and were told to shelter in place. Both the university and the Charlottesville City School district have canceled classes for Monday.
Among those killed was Sean Perry, 22, a linebacker and defensive end for the University of Virginia’s football team, according to a statement that Perry’s father gave to The Daily Progress. As of Monday morning, the names of the other victims had not been released.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were assisting local police in their investigation, Associated Press reported. Police say that the suspect was last seen wearing a burgundy jacket or hoodie, blue jeans, and red shoes, and may be driving a black SUV with Virginia plates.
“This is a message any leader hopes never to have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia,” the school’s president Jim Ryan said in a statement to the university community. ”This is a traumatic incident for everyone in our community.”
Sunday’s shooting at UVA is a reminder that, like anywhere else in the United States, college campuses are not exempt from the national scourge of gun violence. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 624 mass shootings so far in 2022 (defined as four or more individuals shot or killed, not including the shooter).
In 2017, hundreds of white supremacists and neo-Nazis also marched across the school’s campus holding torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us.” The following day, those same groups participated in a violent hate rally in Charlottesville’s streets that left one counterprotester dead.