Some of the more than 500 University of Virginia students who remained sheltered in place during the 12-hour manhunt for the former football player who turned shooting suspect Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. Sunday night into Monday morning they recounted how they barricaded themselves inside and pondered what the lingering effects will be. be on campus.
On Monday night, students participated in a candlelight vigil and prayer services to honor the five active UVA football players killed or hospitalized after the shooting that erupted at a charter bus in a parking lot. campus as students returned from a school field trip on Sunday. night.
Sorority and fraternity houses not far from the crime screen reportedly had the names and numbers of the three deceased players, D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler, sprayed on banners, along with other messages such as “UVA Strong” and “Strong Virginia”.
For 12 hours, students huddled inside darkened lab lockers and dormitories at the University of Virginia, while others turned away from library windows and barricaded the doors of their stately academic buildings after an ominous warning appeared on their screens: “RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.”
PARENTS OF UVA SHOOTER SUSPECT SPEAK BEFORE ARRIVAL HEARING
Responding to the immediate threat of a campus shooting was a moment they had been preparing for since their early grades. But dealing with the emotional trauma of an attack that killed three members of the school’s soccer team Sunday night left the students shocked and eager to understand.
“This is probably going to affect our campus for a long, long time,” Shannon Lake, a junior from Crozet, Va., told The Associated Press.
During the shelter-in-place order, he hid with friends and other students, much of that time in a storage closet, while authorities searched for the suspect until Monday morning before they took him into custody.
When Lake and the others heard that someone might be right outside the business school building, they all decided to go into the closet, turn off the lights, and lock the door.
“That was probably the scariest moment because it became more real to us and reminded us of practice school closures when we were kids. And it was a surreal moment where, you know, I don’t think any of us were really processing what what was going on,” he told the AP.
Police charged the 22-year-old student Jones Jr. with three counts of second-degree murder and said the three victims, all active UVA football players, were killed just after 10:15 p.m. when a charter bus full of students returning from a play in Washington, DC Two other students were injured.
A source told Fox News Digital that the injured were also UVA football players, and a total of five victims were playing offensive line.
UVA President Jim Ryan said authorities did not have a “full understanding” of the motive or circumstances surrounding the shooting. University Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said the suspect had once been on the UVA football team, but he had not been a part of the team for at least a year. UVA’s football website listed Jones as a member of the team during the 2018 season and said he did not play in any games.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA ALLEGED SHOOTER CHRISTOPHER DARNELL JONES FACED AN INVESTIGATION FOR HAZING AS A FOOTBALL PLAYER
Longo also said Jones had faced a prior investigation for hazing and had been on UVA’s radar for an alleged criminal incident involving a weapons violation that occurred outside of Charlottesville. He faced administrative charges by the university for failing to report the matter as required of all UVA students.
Charlotte Goeb, a student who lives in an apartment half a mile from the scene of the shooting, immediately checked her doors and turned off the lights after receiving an alert from the school.
“I’m having a hard time accepting that this was happening,” he told the AP. “Even though you spend your entire education knowing this can happen.”
Ellie Wilkie, a senior, was about to leave her room on the university’s historic and prestigious Lawn in the center of campus when her group’s text messages with friends began to explode with news of the shooting. But she did not immediately dig in.
“I think our generation has been so used to these being drills and this being commonplace that I didn’t even think it was that serious until I got an email that said, ‘Run. Hide. Fight,’ all in caps.” , said. he said she.
Wilkie moved a large trunk he uses for storage in front of the door and placed his mattress on top. She turned off the lights, unplugged anything that might make noise, put her phone on do not disturb mode, crawled under the covers on her top bunk, and sent a text to her mother, who called her back, terrified.
She answered, but told her mom, “I have to get off the phone now. I can’t be making noise here.”
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA MANHUNT: WHO IS THE FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER WHO SHOT SUSPECT CHRISTOPHER DARNELL JONES JR.?
Hours after Jones’ arrest, first-year head football coach Tony Elliott sat alone outside the sports building the team uses, sometimes with his head in his hands. He said the victims “were all good kids.”
Elizabeth Paul was working on a desktop computer in the Clemons library when she received a call from her mother about the shooting. She thought it was probably something minor until the computer she was using flashed a warning about an active shooter.
She spent about 12 hours huddled with various people under the library windows, hoping that if gunfire did break out, they would be out of sight. She spent most of the night on the phone with her mother.
“Not even talking to her all the time necessarily, but she wanted the line to be on so that if she needed anything she would be there,” Paul told the AP.
Em Gunter, a second-year anthropology student, heard three shots and then three more while studying genetics in her dorm room.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
He told everyone on his floor to go to their rooms, close the blinds and turn off the lights. Students know how to respond from active fire drills, she said.
“But how do we treat him afterwards?” she asked. “How will it be in a week, in a month?”
Associated Press contributed to this report.