Three UVA football stars killed in mass shooting as suspect Christopher Darnell Jones Jr is arrested

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Three star football players from the University of Virginia have been identified as the victims who were allegedly killed by a classmate and former college football player in a mass shooting on campus.

Linebacker D’Sean Perry, 22; Lavel Davis Jr and Devin Chandler died Sunday night when suspected shooter Christopher Darnell Jones allegedly opened fire around a parking lot on the university’s main campus along Culbreth Road in Charlottesville.

Perry’s grieving father, Sean Perry, confirmed his son’s death to the local newspaper Richmond Times-Dispatch Monday morning and said he and the victim’s mother, Happy, were flying from their hometown of Miami to Virginia.

Perry, who was 6ft 3in and weighed 230lbs, was a linebacker and defensive end for the Virginia Cavaliers football team – the same University of Virginia team Mr Jones made the roster for in 2018 .

The 22-year-old soccer star played just hours before his death when his team played Pittsburgh on Saturday.

According to a profile on the Virginia Cavalliers website, Perry previously played linebacker, defensive line and tight end at Gulliver Prep and was named the 2018 South Florida Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

He was also part of Team USA’s under-19 team and appeared in the International Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

After graduating from high school, he majored in studio art at the University of Virginia.

Sean Lampkin, assistant football coach at Newberry College, confirmed that his cousin Davis was also killed in the shooting.

He praised the receiver as “one of his kindest, humblest and most loving soldiers” and said his family was “devastated” by the news.

“Sad, sad news this morning. God took one of his kindest, humblest and most loving soldiers off the battlefield last night. Please pray for my family as we are devastated by the passing of my cousin Lavel Davis Jr. I love and miss you already kid,” he tweeted.

A talented wide receiver, Davis was added to the 2022 Returning Player of the Year watch list last month.

Laurel Davis Jr was also killed in the mass shooting on Sunday night

(Provided)

A native of Dorchester, South Carolina, he played wide receiver and safety at Woodland High School before being selected to play in the South Carolina North-South All-Star Game.

The two victims injured in the mass shooting have not yet been publicly identified.

It is unclear whether the victims knew their suspected killer or whether the shooting was targeted or carried out randomly.

A manhunt lasting several hours took place for Mr Jones, a 22-year-old student and former college football player, before his arrest was announced just before 11am on Monday.

He was last seen wearing a burgundy jacket, blue jeans and red shoes and was believed to have been driving a black SUV with license plate TWX3580, police said.

A campus-wide lockdown was lifted Monday morning after students were told to shelter in place and warned not to approach the “armed and dangerous” suspect.

Multiple law enforcement agencies have been mobilized for the search, with a Virginia State Police helicopter circling the area and classes canceled Monday across the university.

University of Virginia Police tweeted Monday morning that law enforcement crews are conducting a “comprehensive search in and around UVA grounds.”

D’Sean Perry has been identified as the victim of Sunday’s shooting

(CBS19 Sports)

The shooting took place around 10.30pm on Sunday in the car park before Mr Jones fled.

Three victims were killed while two others were injured and taken to hospital for treatment, their condition unclear at this time.

Sophomore Em Gunter told the Schedules-Shipping she was watching a lecture in her dorm room when she heard six shots ring out around 10:15 p.m.

The 19-year-old lives at the International Residential College, located opposite Culbreth Road where the shooting took place.

She quickly sent a message to the 350 other students in her dorm warning them to stay inside and hunkered down with her friends in her room.

“I just don’t have words. It’s crazy,” she said.

Ms Gunter told the newspaper she lived in southwestern Virginia, which was the site of the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007.

According to a profile of Mr Jones on the website of the Virginia Cavaliers – the University of Virginia football team – he was on the team’s roster in 2018 but did not appear in any games that year .

The biography lists the 22-year-old’s many accolades and accolades in high school.

He was described as a played linebacker and running back at Petersburg High School who “earned honorable mention all-conference honors as a senior.”

He spent his first three years of high school at Varina High School “where he earned honorable mention in all conferences as a freshman and second-team honors as a sophomore and junior,” the bio states.

Christopher Darnell Jones is wanted on suspicion of carrying out the attack

(UVAPD)

Mr. Jones was “a member of the National Honor Society…National Technical Honor Society…president of the Key Club…president of the Jobs for Virginia Grads program…named freshman and sophomore student of the year at Varina…son of Margo Ellis and Christopher Jones, Sr. … has three siblings, Eliza, Darrius, and Varian,” the biography reads.

The 22-year-old was previously hailed as an achievement after overcoming a troubled childhood to become a model student.

One of four siblings, he grew up in housing complexes in Richmond, according to a 2018 Schedules-Shipping story.

Mr Jones’ father abandoned the family when he was a child and he reportedly got into trouble at school for getting into fights.

But, the “smart and quiet” student seemed to turn things around, playing football and graduating from Petersburg in 2018.

As news of the campus shooting spread, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin released a statement saying he was “praying” for the college community.

“Suzanne and I pray for the UVA community. Virginia State Police are fully coordinating with the UVA Police Department and local authorities,” he tweeted Monday.

“Please shelter in place as authorities work to locate the suspect.

“For family and friends with questions about the event, @UVA has set up a hotline at 877-685-4836”

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