State Police recover handgun near crime scene; discover two more guns in shooter’s home

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: leb.fbi.gov

Virginia State Police have revealed that during their investigation into the shooting deaths of three Virginia football players Sunday night, they recovered a handgun in relative proximity to the shooting scene.

Christopher D. Jones Jr., 22, of Petersburg, a student at UVA, has been charged with three felony counts of second-degree murder and two felony counts of malicious wounding, as well as five felony counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Jones is being held without bond at the Charlottesville-Albemarle County Regional Jail.

According to state police reports, no firearms were recovered inside the bus, however a search warrant of Jones’ residence in Charlottesville resulted in the recovery of a rifle and a handgun. Those weapons have been turned over as evidence to the ATF for processing as well as the handgun found near the shooting scene, Culbreth Parking Garage.

The state police confirmed that the players and Jones were part of a university drama class field trip Sunday to attend a theater performance at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. After the play, the 22 students and professor ate dinner in the District and returned on a chartered bus, arriving at UVA at approximately 10:15 p.m.

As the bus pulled to a stop at Culbreth and the students were getting up to exit the vehicle, Jones produced a weapon and began firing. As Jones exited the bus, he fired additional rounds and then fled the scene on foot and eventually left the area in his black Dodge Durango.

Police apprehended Jones the following morning at approximately 11 a.m. in Henrico County, when an officer observed Jones’ vehicle and initiated a traffic stop in the 5700 block of Edgelawn Street in the eastern part of the county.

No details have been released on Jones’ activities between his fleeing from the crime scene until his apprehension, as investigators are attempting to piece those movements together.

There was a large manhunt in the Charlottesville area following the shootings by several law enforcement agencies and state police helicopters.

The state police said they are not in a position at this point to comment on Jones’ motives for the shootings.

 

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