A prosecutor said in court on Wednesday that a witness informed police that charter bus where victims were returning from a field trip on Sunday night was specifically targeted by University of Virginia shooting suspect Christopher Darnell Jones Jr.
Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley said in a Charlottesville court that one of the three victims, identified as Devin Chandler, was shot while he was asleep.
Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry were also fatalities. These three were integral members of the college football squad.
In Jones’s first court appearance, Judge Andrew Sneathern denied his request to release him on bail despite his videotaped presence. He faces accusations of second-degree murder on three instances, malicious wounding on two counts, and five firearms offenses in total.
Aside from answering the judge’s inquiries, he did not make any statements or enter a plea throughout the session.
After a 12-hour search that forced the closure of campus, 2018 team member Jones was apprehended in Henrico County. He moved here from Petersburg, but authorities haven’t explained what drew him to the Richmond region.
The motivation for this incident has not been disclosed by authorities.
On Wednesday, Hingeley gave a condensed version of the police report detailing what transpired on the bus carrying the kids to a performance in Washington, D.C.
Hingeley said police responded to a report of shots fired call at about 10:30 p.m. near a Culbreth Road parking garage and found Chandler and Perry dead on the bus. From what he understood, Davis passed away at a medical facility.
Michael Hollins, a football player, and Marlee Morgan, a student, were both wounded in the incident.
Jones was “aiming at particular persons,” according to a witness, Hingeley added.
The identity of the courtroom witness remains unknown.
Lynch, a student at the University of Virginia, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that she was on the bus to a field trip about African American playwrights. She told The Post that Jones wasn’t enrolled in the class but had the professor for another course and was therefore invited to join the trip.
According to Lynch, Jones spent much of the day on his own, preferring to sit alone at the play and keeping to himself on the bus journey.
After the hearing ended, Hingeley addressed reporters outside the courthouse and assured them that the investigation was still active. He said he couldn’t say anything publicly since the probe was still ongoing.
“Mr. “Jones is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and a trial will be held at some point in the future,” Hingeley said.
On Wednesday, despite the campus’s still-present atmosphere of sadness, classes began as usual. On Wednesday, it was also reported that Virginia’s game versus Coastal Carolina on Saturday would not go place.
U.Va. President Jim Ryan announced in a video message on Wednesday night that the university would commission an outside audit of its botched investigation of the suspect. A university representative had previously claimed that the institution had never notified the university’s judicial committee about the alleged shooter.
U.S. As he did as governor in the days following the April 16, 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, where a student killed 32 people and injured 17, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, urged university and state officials on Wednesday to convene an independent panel of experts to review every aspect of the shooting that killed three members of the university’s football team.
Four months after the massacre, the Virginia Tech Review Panel, led by retired Virginia State Police Superintendent Gerald Massengill, released a scathing report outlining their findings on how the situation was handled and the shortcomings that needed to be addressed, most notably in the laws governing the treatment of people with mental illness and the purchase of firearms.
Kaine said he didn’t want anybody at the University of Virginia or in state government to “make any quick judgments until the review was done.”
In a press conference on Wednesday, he added, “Let’s get all the facts out on the table, and then I believe that will tell us the way we need to go to make adjustments.”
Kaine agreed that any evaluation should independently investigate the “warning indicators or red flags”—such as a reported hazing incident, a concealed weapons violation, and a pending student disciplinary review—that may have alerted the institution to the risk posed by Jones’ actions.