UVA football team undecided on continuing the season after three players were shot dead – Daily Mail

By Isabel Baldwin For Dailymail.Com


The University of Virginia remains undecided whether to continue to its football season in the wat of the shooting that killed three of its players. 
Linebacker D’Sean Perry and wide receivers Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. were shot and killed on a charter bus after getting back to campus from a class field trip to Washington, D.C. 
Former player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, is accused of killing the three students and injuring two others. 
In the wake of the tragedy, the team has yet to make a decision if it will continue with the scheduled football season. 
‘It will be a discussion with Coach and the team,’ athletic director Carla Williams said Tuesday during a press conference alongside head coach Tony Elliott. 
‘Obviously they’re going through a lot, and we want to make sure they’re involved as well. We’ll use our best judgment, but it will be soon. We’ll make a decision soon.’
Wide receivers Devin Chandler (left) and  Lavel Davis Jr. (right) were killed on Sunday along with linebacker D’Sean Perry (center). They had just returned to Virginia from Washington DC when they were killed
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr.,22 (pictured), is alleged to have killed three members of the football team. His father has said Jones Jr. was ‘paranoid’ and said people had been ‘picking on him’ weeks before his campus gun rampage
Athletic Director Carla Williams said Tuesday that the team had not yet decided if it will continue with the remainder of the football season in the wake of the tragedy 
The Cavaliers are currently scheduled to face Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
Running back Mike Hollins was also shot and remains in critical condition after undergoing a second surgery on Tuesday morning.
Elliot revealed he had spent the day at the hospital but could not provide an update on Hollins’ condition. However, WBRZ reported that the player had been upgraded to stable condition and was ‘doing great’.
The Cavaliers did not practice on Monday or Tuesday but Elliott revealed he had met with the team both days, first to grieve together and then to celebrate the lives of the players they lost. 
‘The first meeting was really, really tough. Really, really, really tough,’ Elliott said. ‘Today was much better. We were able to transition from the pain to finding a little bit of joy and celebrating the lives of Lavel, D’Sean and Devin.’
Virginia is 3-7, having lost its last three games and is scheduled to finish its season on Nov. 26 against Virginia Tech. 
Coach Tony Elliott revealed he had met with the team both Monday and Tuesday 
The violence erupted near a parking garage just after 10:15 p.m. Sunday as a bus full of students returned to Charlottesville
Pictured: A bullet hole through the window of a tour bus where the players were killed 
Hokies head coach Brent Pry revealed that the rival team is planning a tribute to the players who died. 
Elliot insisted his priority focus is his players and their needs during the upsetting time. He said he was open to taking them to their teammates’ funeral but they have not yet been arranged. 
‘My initial thoughts are to be sensitive of whatever the young men desire to do as it relates to their teammates. … Not only is this community impacted, but I think about the community in North Carolina, the community in Florida, and the community in South Carolina that are impacted by this tragic event,’ Elliott said. 
Virginia’s other sports teams will resume their normally scheduled games starting on Wednesday.
Jones had asked one of the football players about a video game immediately before he started shooting on Sunday, a family friend of one of the only two surviving victims told Sports Illustrated. 
Police stationed outside the bus at the University of Virginia on Monday 
Jones facing three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony
‘They had been on a field trip to see a play [in Washington DC], and when they came home on a bus, they pulled into the parking garage,’ said Gordon McKernan, a longtime friend of running back Mike Hollins’ family.
‘The suspect … he was asking one of the football players about a video game,’ McKernan said witnesses told the family. ‘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.’
University spokesperson Brian Coy also confirmed on Tuesday that Jones was among the nearly two dozen students who traveled 120 miles for the play.
The shooting set off panic and a 12-hour lockdown of the campus until the suspect was captured just outside Richmond on Monday.
Jones’ father now says he was ‘paranoid’ and said people had been ‘picking on him’ for weeks before he killed wide receivers Chandler, Davis Jr. and linebacker Perry. 
Jones is now facing three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.
University officials said Jones had previously come to the attention of the school’s threat-assessment team this fall in the context of a review of a ‘potential hazing issue’
The 22-year-old UVA student and suspect is currently being held in Henrico jail, and has an arraignment set for Tuesday at at Albemarle County General District Court. 
University President Jim Ryan said at a news conference Monday that authorities did not have a ‘full understanding’ of the motive or circumstances of the shooting.
Authorities also said it is unclear how Jones was able to flee the shooting scene.
University officials say Jones had previously come to the attention of the school’s threat-assessment team this fall in the context of a review of a ‘potential hazing issue.’
During that review, university officials heard from a student that Jones made a comment about having a gun. That student did not report Jones making any threat, according to the statement. 
Students gathered to place lights around a makeshift memorial that had been set up in the wake of the shooting
Members of the University of Virginia’s football team embrace during a vigil in response to shootings that happened on campus the night before
University officials investigated and subsequently discovered Jones had previously been tried and convicted of a misdemeanor concealed weapons violation in 2021, but the person who reported Jones to the police did not witness him with the weapon firsthand.
And when the school looked into the February 2021 allegation and checked in with Jones’ roommates, none could confirm that they had ever seen him with a gun. 
‘Throughout the investigation, Mr. Jones repeatedly refused to cooperate with University officials who were seeking additional information about the claims that he had a firearm and about his failure to disclose the previous misdemeanor conviction,’ officials told the Associated Press in a statement.
 ‘Accordingly, on October 27, the Threat Assessment Team escalated his case for disciplinary action,’ the statement said.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group


Leave a Comment