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Friday, Nov. 18, 2022
It’s been a long week for Charlottesville and UVA.
The subject of today’s newsletter, like Tuesday’s, is again the shooting at UVA Sunday night, and the aftermath of that violence. We understand if you prefer to step away from the news or not click on links. We encourage you to consider your well-being as you follow this tragedy; it will be with us for a long time.
The report we are sharing today by Jessie Higgins and Tamica Jean-Charles is about those of us in Charlottesville who are not connected to UVA.
Thousands of UVA students, faculty and staff received dozens of messages from Sunday night through Monday morning to shelter in place while police searched for the suspect. UVA students were locked down in dorm rooms, libraries, labs and other common areas for 12 hours while law enforcement searched for the suspected shooter Sunday night. At the same time, city residents who live just blocks from the shooting were completely unaware of the potential danger.
Why? We asked local law enforcement for answers.
UVA Police locked down campus during Sunday night’s manhunt, but did not alert community members living blocks away
“It’s scary to think that a shooter was loose in my city for so long and I had no idea,” Paige Robinson said. “We’re the same community.”
Charlottesville Tomorrow is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to serving Charlottesville and the surrounding areas with important and helpful information. We know there are many reporters from around the country in Charlottesville, investigating and asking tough questions right now. We know that our colleagues in local media are putting in long hours to bring you important information. In the coming weeks, we will share that work to help you follow these events.
We also know that there have been other shootings in our communities. We are working to bring context and depth to our reporting on gun violence, public health and trauma. This work takes time, and we are committed to continuing it.
As we see places where we can use our reporting resources to help fill in information, we will. If you have tips, ideas or feedback about what would be most helpful to you, please let us know here.
Here’s a summary of the news so far.
First, here are the basics of what happened Sunday night and Monday morning, when three UVA students were killed, and two were injured in a shooting on Culbreth Road. The campus went on lockdown for 12 hours while police searched for the suspected shooter. Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. was caught and has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder and using a handgun in commission of a felony, and two counts of malicious wounding.
- The Washington Post has new details about the shooting at UVA on Sunday night from a student who was on the bus. Just a warning, this one is tough to read.
- The Daily Progress is reporting that the Virginia State Police, which is taking the lead on the investigation, found more guns, including a semi-automatic rifle, ammunition and other accessories in Jones’s dorm room. Dance’s Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights, Virginia, near Petersburg, told media that Jones legally purchased a rifle and pistol this year. UVA does not allow weapons on its property, however.
- More details are emerging about the university’s own investigation of Jones, a student and former UVA football player. Their investigation began in mid-September, two months before Jones allegedly shot and killed three UVA football players and injured two other students, one of whom is also on the football team. NBC News is reporting that UVA’s Office of Student Affairs was supposed to escalate the case about two weeks ago but never did.
- The Cavalier Daily reports that UVA is requesting that the state attorney general appoint special counsel to conduct an independent review of their response to the shooting and the way its threat assessment team handled Jones’ case. Jones made his first court appearance Wednesday and will be assigned a public defender for a hearing scheduled Dec. 8. Until then, he’s being held at the regional jail.
- There will be a memorial service for the three students who died in the shooting, D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler, on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. It’s open to the public and will also be live streamed.
- Last but not least, C-VILLE Weekly has a report that highlights the way students who have experienced gun violence at schools have organized to care for themselves and their communities. Colin Goddard, who was shot four times in the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007 said, “It’s more important that students talk, not necessarily to experts, but it’s the talking that is what’s important.”
Thanks for being with us this week,
Angilee Shah, editor-in-chief
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