By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – A student is in custody after three football players were fatally shot on the University of Virginia (UVA) campus Sunday night, the latest mass shooting to hit the United States.
The suspect, identified by authorities as student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was detained after a nearly 12 hours standoff, sources confirmed Monday.
UVA officials said the shooting happened around 10:30 Sunday night on a charter bus that was returning students from a play in Washington as part of a class activity.
Those killed were identified as Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry, UVA President Jim Ryan said during a press conference. Two other students, one in critical condition and one in good condition, were wounded in the shooting and received treatment.
Two students – Perry and Chandler – were found dead inside the bus. Davis died at a hospital, officials said.
Officials said they estimated about 25 students on the bus but said it was unclear if Jones was one of those students.
Following the shootings, near a parking garage in Charlottesville, the university had urged people in and around its campus to seek shelter.
Students recalled terrifying hours in hiding as police searched for the gunman through the night. Students sought safety in closets, dorm rooms, libraries, and apartments.
They said they listened to police scanners and tried to remember everything they were taught as children during active-shooter drills.
The 12 hours of lockdown ended when police eventually detained the gunman.
Yet, the UVA canceled classes on Monday as the extent of the tragedy became apparent, and people prayed for those impacted by the shooting.
UVA President Jim Ryan told reporters that besides those killed, two other students, including one in critical condition, were wounded in the shooting and receiving treatment.
“This is a sad, shocking, and tragic day for our UVA community,” Ryan told reporters. “… The entire university community is grieving this morning. My heart is broken for the victims and their families and for all those who knew and loved them, and they are all in my prayers.”
University Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said after learning Jones was in custody: “Just give me a moment to thank God, breathe a sigh of relief.”
The motives of the student who allegedly committed the shootings were unclear immediately.
Jones was a former member of the university’s football team.
The killings happened while the nation was on edge from several mass shootings during the last six months.
Previous attacks included shootings that killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas; a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb that killed seven people and wounded more than 30; and a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 people and injured three.
They have added to a fierce debate about gun violence in the United States and whether stricter laws on carrying weapons would lead to fewer killings.
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