Three people have been shot dead and an “armed and dangerous” gunman has been apprehended after a shooting at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville.
Two other people were injured after the attack on a bus carrying the American football team late last night, 13 November. Police spent much of the day searching for the main suspect, 22-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr, who was also a football player who had never played for the UVA team. They eventually apprehended him in the afternoon. The victims have not been identified.
The Washington Post reported that university president James E Ryan wrote to students in the early hours of this morning, 14 November, confirming the shooting. He said: “As of this writing, I am heartbroken to report that the shooting has resulted in three fatalities; two additional victims were injured and are receiving medical care.
“We are working closely with the families of the victims, and we will share additional detail as soon as we are able. Our University Police Department has joined forces with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspect, and we will keep our community apprised of developments as the situation evolves.”
What happened in the UVA shooting?
Gunfire was heard at a garage in Culbreth Road, Charlottesville, at 10.30pm local time last night. This runs next to the Fralin Museum of Art at UVA, and is near the Rotunda, and iconic University of Virginia building, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. Authorities said the shooting happened on a bus of students, including the American football team, who were returning from an off-campus trip.
The Washington Post reported that three people were killed and two people are in hospital with injuries. Just before midnight, the university urged students to shelter in their rooms. This order was in place for several hours. The university said: “Please, please take the shelter in place commands seriously as the situation remains active.”
Who is the suspect?
Both the University of Virginia and local police said the suspect is Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. Jones Jr is 22 and a former American Football player.
According to the university website, he was a freshman on the football team in 2018 but did not appear in any games. He previously played for his high school football teams. It is not known whether he is still a university student.
Police launched a huge manhunt for Jones Jr, saying he is armed and dangerous. On Monday, 14 November, the authorities said he had been taken into custody.
In 2007, Virgina Tech - a college in Blacksburg - had one of the worst mass shootings in US history, when a student killed 32 people before turning the gun on himself.
Charlottesville, the home of University of Virginia, also saw three deaths and 49 other people injured when white supremicists clashes with police and counter protesters in 2017.
On the same day as the UVA shooting, police in Idaho are investigating four university students who were found dead at home. Officers have declared the deaths as suspected homicides.