PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. is accused of fatally shooting three University of Virginia football players and wounding two other people on Sunday night in a bus that had just returned to Charlottesville from a field trip.
According to a 2018 account in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jones, his parents and three siblings lived in the Mosby Court and Essex Village public housing communities of Richmond. His parents divorced when Jones was five years old. Later, the mother and her children moved to Henrico County, where Christopher, a straight-A student, spent three years at Varina High School.
He played football there and was reportedly bullied because he was one of the smart kids in school. In 2016, he moved to Petersburg for a new start with his grandmother. He also played football at Petersburg High School, where he would finish as a “Times-Dispatch/Sports Backers scholar-athlete.”
Jones was on the 2018 football roster at UVA, but WAVY’s still looking into what happened to his involvement in the football program beyond his freshman year. Shortly after police announced Jones was in custody, UVA Police Chief Tim Longo told reporters Jones had been under investigation because of a hazing incident.
“Mr. Jones had also come to the attention of the Threat Assessment Team because he was involved in a hazing investigation of some sort. I don’t know the facts and circumstances of that investigation. [The investigation] was eventually closed due to witnesses who would not cooperate with the process,” Longo said.
There are also two other issues that had Jones on police’s radar before the mass shooting.
Another matter involved a rumor that Jones was armed.
“In September of 2022, our office of student affairs reported to the multidisciplinary threat assessment team that Mr. Jones — they received information that Mr. Jones had made a comment to a person about possessing a gun,” Longo said.
Chief Longo went on to say the university made efforts to reach Jones and they spoke with Jones’ roommate, who reportedly said he had not seen Jones with a weapon.
There’s a third matter that did involve a gun. Longo told reporters about a concealed weapons violation.
“We learned of a prior criminal incident involving a concealed weapons violation that occurred outside the City of Charlottesville in February of 2021. He’s required as a student of the University of Virginia to report that, and he never did, and so the university has taken appropriate charges through the university’s judiciary council and that matter is still pending adjudication,” Longo said.