The chilling details behind the moment that Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. shot five people, killing three, are being revealed, and they are jarring. On Wednesday, prosecutors argued that Jones shot one of the victims while sleeping in what was described as a “targeted” massacre. Devin Chandler was shot as he took a nap on the bus returning to Charlottesville, Virginia, from a field trip to Washington, D.C.
Students saw “Chris point the gun at Devin Chandler and saw him shoot while he slept and slumped to the floor,” said James Hingeley, prosecutor for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Additionally, witnesses corroborated that the 22-year-old seemed to target his victims and was not “randomly shooting” his victims, per prosecutors. Chandler and another victim, D’Sean Perry, died on the bus.
One witness, Ryan Lynch, alleged gunman Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. “got up and pushed” one of the victims, Lavel Davis Jr., who died later at the hospital. All were UVA football players.
“After he pushed him, he was like ‘You guys are always messing with me,'” Lynch told Philadelphia TV station KYW. “He said something like that, but it was really bizarre because they didn’t talk to him the whole trip. We thought he was going to shoot everyone in the bus at that point. I thought we all were going to die.”
Michael Hollins, another student who played football for the Virginia Cavaliers, and UVA sophomore Marlee Morgan were also injured, per reports. Hollins is currently in critical condition on a ventilator after being shot and is recovering from a second surgery to have a bullet removed, while Morgan was released from the hospital.
“He was asking one of the football players about a video game,” said Gordon McKernan, a family friend of Hollins, to Sports Illustrated. “The guy answered, and at that moment, he pulled a gun and started shooting. The belief from those on board was that he was targeting football players.”
There are no words to describe this tremendous loss to our UVA Football family. Lavel, Devin, D’Sean – you will all be dearly missed and we will never forget the impact you had on our team and community. pic.twitter.com/xdiq9KCU17
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) November 15, 2022
Last year, Jones was convicted of a concealed weapons offense and received a suspended sentence for property damage and reckless driving in his hometown of Petersburg, Virginia. He is currently charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious shooting with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, and five counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.
Jones did not enter a plea and explained to the court that he was still seeking legal representation. He told the court that he wanted his own lawyer instead of a court-appointed public defender. However, Jones told the court he earns $360 every other week from working an eight hour shift weekly at the Charlottesville Boys and Girls Club.
Please see the attached news release regarding the arrest of Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., in Henrico County. pic.twitter.com/en4K0uhhag
— Henrico Police (@HenricoPolice) November 14, 2022
Judge Andrew Sneathern ordered him held without bail until he could secure legal representation and enter a plea.
“We are all grieving and sad and devastated by these events in our community, and all of us in this community care for the victims’ families and wish for the speedy recovery of those, who are being treated at the hospital, and who are wounded, and wish there can be comfort for the family members of the victims who died in this terrible tragedy,” Hingeley reportedly said in court