University of Virginia cancelled its last home football game Wednesday. The same day, a student accused of killing three team members and injuring two others in an on-campus shooting was in court for his first hearing.
“The Virginia athletics office announced today (Nov. 16,) that the Cavaliers’ home game vs. Coastal Carolina, which was scheduled for Saturday Nov. 19, has been canceled. According to the school, the decision was taken following the shootings of five students at Grounds Sunday night.” The school stated on Wednesday that the school had posted the announcement Wednesday.
Jim Ryan, University President, stated Wednesday night that instead of a memorial service Saturday to honor the lives of the three football players who died in the accident, there would be one for the wounded students.
Officials at the university and police claim that Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22 joined a group of around two dozen others who were on a field trip from Charlottesville to see a play in Washington, 120 miles away. Authorities said that the suspect opened fire on their bus upon returning to campus. He killed Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler. Two other people were also injured, including football player Mike Hollins.
According to Hollins’ mother, CBS News said that Hollins doesn’t know three of the victims who were friends or teammates.
Brenda Hollins, her first interview on television since the shooting, said that her son, who is a running back for her school’s football team told CBS News that he uses pen and paper to inquire about his friends.
She said, “He cannot talk, but he’s written D’Sean’s names.” He has written Devin’s name. Then he wrote Devin’s name.
Police say the suspect was able flee the scene of the shooting, prompting a manhunt. A 12-hour lockdown on campus ensued. The suspect is facing three counts of second degree murder, two counts each of malicious wounding, and other gun-related charges.
Students, faculty, and the wider Charlottesville community have been in mourning since the violence at the state’s flagship public university. Classes resumed Wednesday.
There is no decision yet on whether UVA will play in the final game of the season against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
The suspect appeared via video link from a local prison on Wednesday. The suspect did not plead guilty to the charges, but he stated that he will hire an attorney. He was placed under arrest and a judge appointed him a public defense attorney to represent him until he can secure private counsel.
Since Monday night’s arrest in suburban Richmond, the suspect is currently in custody.
Ryan stated Monday that authorities didn’t have a complete understanding of the motive for the shooting. The matter has not been covered in court documents. James Hingeley, Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney, did not discuss a possible motive Wednesday.
According to Carla Williams, athletics director, the suspect was a football player during the 2018 season. He was also a one-semester walk on.
His father, who was interviewed by the media, expressed his confusion and amazement to the victims’ families and offered his condolences.