Suspect in University of Virginia Shooting Had Guns in His Dorm Room, Report Says
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The suspect in the shooting deaths this week of three fellow University of Virginia students had a semiautomatic rifle, a pistol, ammunition and a device designed to increase a weapon’s rate of fire in his dorm room on campus, according to a police search warrant inventory obtained by The Daily Progress, a local newspaper.
A special agent with the Virginia State Police executed the search warrant on Monday just after 10 a.m., less than 12 hours after the shootings, according to The Daily Progress. Searching the room of the suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., on the second floor of the Bice House dorm, an agent found a Ruger AR-556 semiautomatic rifle, a Smith & Wesson Model 39 pistol, a box of Winchester .223 ammunition, two Glock 9-millimeter magazines, a gun-cleaning kit and a Franklin Armory binary trigger, which is designed so that a gun will fire when a trigger is pulled and again when it is released, increasing the rate of fire.
Students are not permitted to have weapons on University of Virginia property except for under certain circumstances, such as official military or Reserve Officer Training Corps activities, according to the weapons policy on the university’s website.
As of Friday morning, the search warrant had been sealed by the Albemarle County Circuit Court. The district attorney’s office said it was not unusual for warrants to be sealed.
Mr. Jones has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding and five counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony. He has not entered a plea. It remained unclear Friday who was representing Mr. Jones, and no representative could be reached on his behalf.
In September, Mr. Jones, a senior, had come to the university’s attention after another student reported that Mr. Jones had mentioned having a gun. The tipster had not actually seen Mr. Jones with a gun, officials said this week, and the university’s threat assessment team learned that Mr. Jones’s roommate had not seen a gun, either.
But while investigating the tip, university officials said they discovered that Mr. Jones had been convicted in 2021 of a misdemeanor concealed weapons charge and had not informed the university, violating campus policy.
Brian Coy, a university spokesman, said this week that on Oct. 26, after Mr. Jones “repeatedly refused to cooperate” with the investigation, a representative for student affairs sent Mr. Jones sent an email warning him that his failure to report the conviction would be referred to the Student Judicial Council, the student-run body that handles discipline on campus. But for reasons that remain unclear, that referral was never made.
D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr., all members of the university’s football team, were killed in Sunday night’s shooting on a bus that had just returned from a class field trip to see a play in Washington. A fourth football player, Michael Hollins, was shot in the back and is currently in the hospital; according to his father, he is expected to make a full recovery. Another student, Marlee Morgan, was also injured in the attack. Mr. Jones was also on the trip.
Campbell Robertson and Stephanie Saul contributed reporting.