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UVA shooting suspect Christopher Jones targeted specific victims and shot one in his sleep, prosecutors say

Christopher Darnell Jones Jr was denied bond on Wednesday

Johanna Chisholm
Wednesday 16 November 2022 16:43 GMT
UVA campus shooting latest

Christopher Darnell Jones Jr specifically targeted football players on a bus at the University of Virginia, a prosecutor revealed at his arraignment for a mass shooting that left three dead and two more injured.

The 22-year-old student accused of shooting dead UVA football players Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr was denied bond on Wednesday as he appeared in court for the first time since the deadly massacre late Sunday night on and near a charter bus following a field trip to see a play in Washington DC.

Jones, who appeared via video conference at the Albemarle General District Court at 9am local time, was arraigned for three counts of second-degree murder and five counts of firearm use in commission of felony.

According the prosecutor, a witness alleged they watched Jones target individuals on the bus, including one victim who was sound asleep who they then watched slump to the floor.

“Prosecutor told judge that witness saw Jones shoot Devin Chandler in his sleep before he slid to the floor. Says witness saw Jones targeting specific people while shooting on bus,” reported WAVY News from inside the courtroom.

Officers had confirmed earlier in the week that when they arrived on scene, they found Chandler and UVA linebacker Perry dead on the bus. Davis, a wide receiver with the university’s football team, later died from his injuries at the hospital.

During his arraignment, Jones told the Virginia courtroom that he intends to hire an attorney but will require two weeks to retain one, according to WAVY News.

In the meantime, the judge presiding over the hearing appointed a public defender for Jones.

The next hearing is scheduled for 8 December.

Prosecutor Jim Hingeley said while addressing the media outside the Albemarle General District Court that he wouldn’t comment on the facts of the case in order to allow for a fair trial.

“We are all grieving and saddened and devastated by these events in our community,” said Mr Hingeley outside the Virginia courtroom.

“All of us in this community care for the victims and their families and wish for the speedy recovery of those who are being treated at the hospital and who were wounded.”

One of the two students who were shot and wounded during the allegedly targeted attack was discharged from hospital on Tuesday, while the other victim remains in “serious condition”, officials said.

According to UVA Health public information officer Eric Swensen, one of the surviving victims is still being treated in hospital, but he was unable to disclose which of the two as health privacy laws prevent the sharing of medical information.

Late Tuesday night, the fifth victim shot during the attack on the bus at the Charlottesville campus was identified as Marlee Morgan, while the fourth victim was earlier identified as UVA running back Mike Hollins.

Mr Hollins was required to go through a second surgery on Tuesday after he was shot in the back, but a spokesperson for his family confirmed that his prognosis, at this point, was “positive”.

“He is up, he is aware, and the prognosis is positive,” said Joe Gipson, chief operating officer at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, a law firm that Hollins’ mother, Brenda, works for and who is acting as their spokesperson.

The student-athlete was reportedly no longer on a ventilator, Mr Gipson added Tuesday.

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