UVA students killed Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler shot in the head: medical examiner

According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, three University of Virginia football players who were shot on a bus while returning from a field trip each died of gunshot wounds to the head .

The cause of death for Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler was released in response to a request from The Associated Press on Thursday. LaKeshia Johnson, Central District Administrator of the Medical Examiner’s Office, also said in an email that the manner of death was homicide.

The students were shot late Sunday night as they returned to campus after traveling to Washington, where they saw a play and had dinner together. Authorities said Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a UVA student and former football team member who was on the trip, began shooting at students on the charter bus as it pulled into campus parking lot.

Jones, 23, faces second-degree murder and other charges stemming from the shooting, which sparked a 12-hour manhunt and campus lockdown before Jones was apprehended in the suburbs of Richmond. Jones is being held without bond.

A witness told police the shooter targeted specific victims, shooting one while he slept, a prosecutor said Wednesday during Jones’ first appearance. Two other students were injured. Neither Jones nor his attorney addressed the charges in court.

Officials said Thursday that an outside special counsel would help the state’s attorney general review the shooting.

Lavel Davis Jr. was a wide receiver for the University of Virginia.

In a letter, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and University President Whitt Clement asked Attorney General Jason Miyares to appoint outside counsel to investigate the UVA’s response to the shooting as well as pre-violence efforts to assess the suspect’s potential threat.

“After a tragedy of this nature, it is important that the institution concerned carefully examines the circumstances which led to the event and the way in which the University reacted at the time,” Clement said in a press release.

Miyares granted the university’s request for the outside review, saying he would hire a special counsel to help his office.

« A public report will be shared with students, families, the wider UVA community and government officials at the appropriate time, » Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said in a statement.

Devin Chandler was shot while napping, prosecutors say.

The UVA said Jones has been on the radar of the school’s threat assessment team since the fall. The university also provided sometimes contradictory or erroneous statements about the work of this team during the week.

Davis, Perry and Chandler will be honored Saturday at a memorial service on campus. A student who was injured has since been released from hospital. Football player Mike Hollins, who was also injured, underwent surgery and is recovering in hospital.

Hollins was « positively progressing » on Thursday and will hopefully begin to take some action, according to Joe Gipson, a spokesperson for the family.

In an interview with ESPN on Thursday, Hollins’ mother said her son first thought he heard balloons popping on the bus before seeing Jones. Hollins then yelled at the bus driver to stop and ran off the bus with two other students.

D'Sean Perry
D’Sean Perry was in the middle of his junior season for the Cavaliers.
University of Virginia

Hollins quickly realized no other students had fled the bus and ran to help, Brenda Hollins said. His son encountered Jones pointing a gun at him on the first step of the bus, prompting Hollins to turn to run.

« All he remembers was trying to turn around, but he saw him raise the gun, » Brenda Hollins said. « And he felt his back getting hot… And he ran up his shirt, and he saw the bullet come out of his stomach. »

After assuming leadership of the Campus Police criminal investigation, Virginia State Police on Thursday provided the most detailed account yet of what transpired.

In a press release, the agency said Jones traveled with other students and a professor to Washington for a theatrical performance at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The group had dinner together before a teacher and 22 students returned to Charlottesville, state police said.

As the bus pulled up to the campus parking lot and the students got up to leave, Jones « pulled out a gun and began shooting, » the statement said. As he exited the bus, he fired additional rounds, fled on foot and eventually left the area in a Dodge Durango, according to state police.

The press release says investigators are « still reconstructing Jones’ movements between when he fled the scene of the shooting and was apprehended » in the Richmond area and could not comment on a motive.

A handgun was recovered in « relative proximity » to the bus and no firearms were recovered inside, state police said. A search warrant executed at Jones’ Charlottesville residence resulted in the recovery of a rifle and a handgun, according to the news release.

The university said earlier this week that Jones came to the attention of the university’s threat assessment team this fall in the context of a « potential hazing issue. » UVA declined to elaborate on the possible hazing incident.

During his threat assessment review, university officials began investigating a report that Jones had a gun and eventually discovered that Jones had already been tried and convicted of a misdemeanor misdemeanor. concealed weapons violation in 2021, which he had not reported, according to a statement.

The school initially said it « escalated its case for disciplinary action » on October 27. But a spokesman, Brian Coy, revised the schedule on Tuesday evening. He said that likely due to human or technical error, the report didn’t actually make it to the University Judiciary Committee, a student-run body, until Tuesday night after the shooting.


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