Three dead, two injured in University of Virginia campus shooting

Three university football players killed, police say that Christopher Darnell Jones, the suspect in the shooting, is in custody.

A shooting on the campus of the University of Virginia (UVA) has killed three people and wounded two others, according to local law enforcement.

Authorities told a press conference on Monday that the suspect, student Christopher Darnell Jones, had been caught and taken into custody.

The shooting took place on Sunday night and targeted a bus full of students returning from an off-campus trip. All three of the students killed were members of the football team, of which Jones had previously been a member. Authorities have said that the motive for the attack is not yet clear.

“Police have the suspect in custody,” the UVA police department said over Twitter on Monday. An earlier tweet announced the end of a shelter-in-place order on campus. UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo thanked law enforcement for responding to the incident “very quickly”.

“As of this writing, I am heartbroken to report that the shooting has resulted in three fatalities; two additional victims were injured and are receiving medical care,” university president James E Ryan wrote in a message to the community early on Monday morning.

“We are working closely with the families of the victims, and we will share additional detail as soon as we are able.

“Our University Police Department has joined forces with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspect, and we will keep our community apprised of developments as the situation evolves.

Classes for Monday were cancelled, and counselling and psychological support would be made available to students and faculty, Ryan added.

Eva Surovell, the editor-in-chief of the Cavalier Daily student newspaper, told The Washington Post that people are “genuinely scared”.

“The second we all got that message that there was an active shooter, my phone flooded with messages,” she said. “You just don’t really think something could happen like this to your community until it does.”

This is not the first time that a university campus in Virginia has witnessed a shooting incident.

In February this year, two campus police officers were shot dead at Bridgewater College after reports of a suspicious man near a school building.

In 2007, Virginia Tech experienced one of the worst mass shootings in US history when an undergraduate student killed 32 people before shooting himself on April 16 of that year.

Sunday’s shooting is the latest in a wave of gun violence on US college and high school campuses in recent years. The bloodshed has fuelled a debate over tighter restrictions on access to guns in the country.

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