A suspect in a shooting at the University of Virginia that left three members of the University of Virginia football team dead was in custody on Monday, hours after he allegedly opened fire on a school bus full of students returning from a field trip.
University police said during a news conference that the suspect, student Christopher Darnell Jones, was arrested hours after the shooting that unfolded at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday (0330 GMT on Monday) at the school in Charlottesville, Virginia, attended by 25,000 students.
The shooting prompted school officials to tell students and staff to shelter in place for hours as law enforcement officers conducted a massive manhunt for Jones.
University President Jim Ryan identified the slain students as Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D’Sean Perry. Two other people were wounded in the shooting, authorities said.
Jones was being held on three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, university Police Chief Tim Longo said.
Jones, who Ryan said is a student at the school, was listed as a player on the school’s football team in 2018.
Ryan said in a letter posted on social media hours after the shooting that he was “heartbroken,” and added that classes were canceled for the day.
“This is a message any leader hopes never to have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia,” he wrote.
The shooting was the latest episode of gun violence on U.S. college and high school campuses. The bloodshed has fueled debate over tighter restrictions on access to guns in the United States, where the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.
A 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, about 150 miles (241 km) southwest of Charlottesville, left 33 people dead, including the shooter, and 23 injured in one of the deadliest college mass shootings in U.S. history.