A team created to stop violence at UVA knew about Chris Jones before the deadly shooting

Posted at 2:44 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 12:56:14-05

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The University of Virginia student accused of killingthree classmates and wounding two others in a shooting came to the attention of the school's Threat Assessment Team twice since February 2021, according to university officials.

The team's most recent assessment of 22-year-old shooting suspect Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. happened just weeks ago in September 2022.

Jones was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, UVA Police Chief Tim Longo said on Monday.

Following the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law requiring universities create policies and procedures to prevent violence on campus.

Schools were told to put together a Threat Assessment Team made up of members of law enforcement, mental health professionals, and representatives from student affairs and human resources.

UVA has a Threat Assessment Team that, according to its website, assesses and intervenes with individuals whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of the university community.

Longo said Monday that Jones came to the attention of the school's Threat Assessment Team twice.

Longo said in the first instances, Jones was involved in a hazing investigation.

During the course of that investigation, the team learned of a prior criminal incident involving a concealed weapon that occurred outside the City of Charlottesville in February 2021.

"What is interesting about that case is he is required as a student at UVA to report that, and he never did, so the university has taken appropriate administrative charges through the university's judiciary counsel and that matter is still pending adjudication," Longo said.

Jim Ryan, Tim Longo
Tim Longo, UVA's Vice President for Safety and Security and Chief of Police, speaks to the media as University of Virginia President Jim Ryan listens, right, listens during a news conference at the school Monday, Nov. 14, 2022 in Charlottesville. Va. Authorities say three people have been killed and two others were wounded in a shooting at the University of Virginia and a student is in custody. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

In the second instance, Longo said a member of the school's student affairs office contacted the Threat Assessment Team in September 2022 to report someone told a member of student affairs that Jones made a comment to someone not affiliated with the university about possessing a gun.

Longo said the person who reported the information never saw the gun, and Jones did not make the comment in connection with any threats.

Longo said student affairs made efforts to contact Jones, and followed up with his roommate who did not report seeing a weapon.

Longo said he released the information today in an effort to be as transparent as possible.

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