The University of Virginia student accused of killing three football players and injuring two more on Sunday appeared to target his victims and shot one of them while he was sleeping, prosecutors alleged.
The suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., appeared in court via a video conference from jail on Wednesday, where he was formally charged with three counts of second-degree murder, five counts of using a firearm in commission of a felony, and two counts of malicious bodily injury, court records show.
The 22-year-old suspect was “not randomly shooting” and appeared to aim for “certain people” on the bus, James Hingeley, the Albemarle County commonwealth attorney’s office prosecutor, said in court, citing a witness.
The three victims, Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry, were football players who were respected and beloved by their peers. Two other students were injured, one of whom remained hospitalized on Wednesday.
Ryan Lynch, another student on the bus, told the Washington Post that the suspect mostly stayed apart from the group of students during the class trip. Immediately after the shooting, some students ran off the bus and hid in the bathroom, repeatedly calling 911.
Jones remained at large for more than 12 hours, setting off a campus lockdown as a large manhunt ensued. He was arrested on Monday.
University President Jim Ryan said at a press conference on Monday that authorities did not have a “full understanding” of the motive of the shooting yet.
The suspect will be held in custody without bond. According to court records, he is set to appear in court again on Dec. 8.