University of Virginia shooting: Student charged with murder after three killed

Christopher Darnell Jones apprehended 13 hours into manhunt

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A man has been charged with murder after the killing of three members of the University of Virginia's American football team, authorities said.

Christopher Darnell Jones, 22, was apprehended 13 hours after university officials said he fired at his fellow students as they returned from a school trip.

Mr Jones was a running back for the university's football team in 2018.

On Monday, the university's president, Jim Ryan, identified the three victims as Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D’Sean Perry.

President Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden joined with the university community in mourning the death of the students, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

“Too many families across America are bearing the awful burden of gun violence,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

From left, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D'Sean Perry. University of Virginia Athletics / AP

Two others — one thought to be in good condition and one critical — were admitted to hospital, Mr Ryan said. He did not disclose their identities.

University Police chief Timothy Longo was in the middle of delivering an update on search efforts when an officer pulled him aside to inform him that Mr Jones had been taken into custody.

Mr Longo paused briefly after he had announced the news.

“Just give me a moment to thank God, breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.

Mr Jones was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

It is the latest incident of US gun violence after a wave of mass shootings that have reignited the debate on gun-control legislation.

The University of Virginia cancelled all classes on Monday.

“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,” Mr Ryan said.

An order to shelter in place was in effect on Monday morning, the University of Virginia Police Department said in a tweet. Local bus routes were also been suspended, the university announced.

Mr Ryan said the university had mental health resources available to students.

More than 599 mass shootings have been reported in the US this year, including 32 mass murders, data from the Gun Violence Archives showed.

The bloodshed has sparked debate in the nation over gun control in the US, where the right to bear arms remains a divisive issue.

Updated: November 15, 2022, 6:45 AM