“This is a sad, shocking and tragic day for our UVA community,” Ryan said. “Let me say how deeply sorry I am for the victims and for their family and friends.”
With a gunman on the loose, University officials urged students to shelter in place, a directive that remained in place for 12 hours. About 500 students spent the night “sheltered in buildings throughout Grounds, in libraries, classrooms and other spaces” until the directive was lifted.
Just ahead of an 11 a.m. news conference, University officials lifted the shelter order, saying they were confident the wanted man was no longer in the area. And then, in a dramatic moment during the news conference, a state police captain interrupted University Police Chief Tim Longo during Longo’s remarks. The captain whispered in Longo’s ear that the suspected gunman been captured.
“Thank God,” Longo said. “We have a sigh of relief.”
A short time later, the Henrico Police Department revealed officers had arrested Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., identified earlier by University police as the gunman, in a neighborhood just east of Richmond. Online records show Jones was booked into the Henrico County Jail.
Ryan identified Jones as a University student. His name is listed in the University directory as an undergraduate in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Jones was also a member of the football team for a year in 2018, according to UVA Athletics records. But Ryan said Jones had not been a member of the squad for some time, and it was unclear if Jones had a relationship with any of the football players on the bus.
Longo said Jones would be charged with three counts of second-degree murder and using a gun in a crime. Longo said the charges could later be upgraded if “certain facts and circumstances arise.” Longo also said Jones had been the source of recent concerns.
“Mr. Jones came to the attention of the University of Virginia’s threat assessment team” first in the fall of 2022, Longo said. The chief said someone notified the Office of Student Affairs that Jones talked about having a gun. However, the chief said, the person who notified student affairs did not see a gun, and Jones’ roommate did not report seeing Jones with a gun.