The accused UVA shooter’s father said he was “picked up” and “paranoid”; Wish he could have intervened

As authorities look for the motive behind the University of Virginia campus shooting that killed three people and injured two others, the suspect’s father said he would like to have a face-to-face conversation with his son to find out what prompted him to carry out the violent attack.

Christopher Darnell Jones father speaks out
Christopher Darnell Jones Sr (left) speaks out after his son is accused of shooting dead five people on a charter bus at the University of Virginia on November 13, 2022. (Photo: Twitter: UVA Police Department/NBC News video screengrab)

Christopher Darnell’s father speaks out

Christopher Darnell Jones Sr said he was still shocked his son would open fire on a charter bus with other students on Sunday night.

The 22-year-old told his father he was struggling and the father tried to give him advice. Jones Sr. said he wished his son had called him before he pulled the trigger and maybe the result would have been different.

“What happened? Why did it have to come to this? He could have called me,” his father told WWBT. “I don’t know why he didn’t call me on Saturday. If he had called me on Saturday, I would have him.” maybe talk some things out, maybe, hopefully.”

Officials allege Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. assaulted members of the UVA football team as they were returning from a field trip in Washington, DC. Authorities responded to an 911 call at the school in Charlottesville, Virginia on Sunday night and found soccer players Devin Chandler and J »Sean Perry dead on a charter bus near a parking garage. Three other players were injured. Lavel Davis Jr. died in hospital.

Witnesses said they saw the suspect run away from the scene. The attack resulted in a lockdown and manhunt for the attacker.

US Marshals swarmed around 10 a.m. Monday toward the home of Jones Jr.’s mother in Henrico, more than an hour away, but he wasn’t there. Instead, according to authorities, he was arrested 5 minutes from his family’s home before 11 a.m., around 12 hours after he allegedly carried out the attack.

Jones Jr.’s mother said she tried to call him several times after seeing news about the shooting, but he didn’t answer. However, she said he sounded normal when they spoke on Sunday and was looking forward to celebrating his 23rd birthday on November 17, reports WWBT.

However, he sought advice from his father about issues he had last month.

“He was having some issues the last time I spoke to him. He said some people would tease him or whatever, he didn’t know how to deal with it and I told him just go to school, don’t worry about it,” the father said. “He was really paranoid when I spoke to him about something, but he didn’t tell me everything. He was a very sensitive young man.”

Jones Jr. moved in with his father during his senior year of high school after a disagreement with his mother.

He was a member of the UVA football team in 2018 but never took part in games due to a pre-existing injury. Authorities said Monday they did not have a “complete understanding” of the motive behind the crime.

However, university officials said he was examined at least twice before the incident.

“Lord. Jones was also brought to the attention of our threat assessment team because he was involved in some sort of harassment investigation,” said UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo. “I don’t know the facts and circumstances of that investigation. I know it ended up being closed because witnesses did not want to cooperate with the process.”

During this investigation, campus police also learned that Jones Jr. had a “previous criminal incident involving a concealed weapons violation” in February 2021 in another city. In addition, CNN reports that Jones has been convicted of misdemeanor.

“What’s interesting about this case? [is] he is required as a student at the University of Virginia to report this and he never did, so the university has filed appropriate administrative fees through the university Judiciary Board and this matter is pending a decision,” he said Long.

Brian Coy told CNN Tuesday that campus police “heard from a student” in September that Jones “made a remark to him about possession of a gun.” However, Jones’ roommate “did not provide any indication of the presence of weapons,” the statement said. Longo said Monday the tip came from off campus.

Coy said Jones “repeatedly refused to cooperate,” and the threat assessment team recommended Jones for disciplinary action on Oct. 27.

Jones now faces three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.

Commemorating the three victims of UVA shooting

Hundreds flocked to a vigil for the killed players on Monday night. The students honored Chandler, Davis and Perry with signs with their football uniform numbers and names, as well as a sign that read “Virginia Strong.”

Classes were canceled Tuesday to allow students to “reflect, mourn and gather,” UVA President Ryan Long said.

UVA sporting director Carla Williams said the victims who died were “three talented and bright young men”.

D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. were killed in a mass shooting at the University of Virginia on November 13, 2022. (Photo: Twitter)

“We will never see the impact they would have had on the world, but we will never forget their impact on us,” she said in a statement Monday. “I miss Lavel, D’Sean and Devin. I pray for peace, comfort and hope for their parents and loved ones.”

Aside from being a gifted soccer player, Davis’ family told The Washington Post he had a friendly smile and wanted everyone to be happy. The 20-year-old from Dorchester, South Carolina was a film buff intrigued by William Shakespeare.

“I wish I was in his place,” his father, Thaddeus Lavel Davis, told the newspaper. Lavel was his first born child.

Davis was also a devoted Christian, reportedly turning to the Bible for counsel.

“Lavel was an outstanding man,” said Tydles Sibert, his high school athletic director. “High character and integrity, very intelligent and articulate. He was a godly Christian. Everything you’re looking for in a student athlete and person.

Perry also portrayed himself as a man of faith on social media. The Miami, Fla. native quoted a Bible passage on his Instagram page and has an illustration of black church worshipers as the cover photo for his Twitter page.

His mother, Happy Perry, draws on her spiritual beliefs amid the tragedy.

“You promised you would never leave me or forsake me so I lean on you Lord,” his mother wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “I need you now.”

The principal of her son’s former high school said he had “a kind heart, a quick mind, and a ready smile that made him a favorite among his peers, teachers, and coaches.”

Chandler recently joined UVA from the University of Wisconsin. One of his former football coaches, Alvis Whitted, said he was an “extraordinary” player and an “all round good guy who had a smile that would light up any room”.

University of Wisconsin head coach Jim Leonhard said, “His personality was infectious and he was a pleasure to be around.”

Chandler’s family said in a statement from a lawyer they “would like to thank the countless people who have shown support and love during this horrible time.” The accused UVA shooter’s father said he was “picked up” and “paranoid”; Wish he could have intervened

James Brien

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