Colonial Heights store owner: UVA shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns this year

Posted at 6:54 PM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 12:52:15-05

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Chris Jones Jr., the suspect in the University of Virginia shooting who police say killed three people and injured two others, legally purchased two guns earlier this year at a store in Colonial Heights, according to the store's owner.

Marlon Dance, the owner of Dance's Sporting Goods, confirmed to CBS 6 that Jones bought a pistol in July and a rifle in February. He said both purchases were legal.

However, he also said that Jones was previously prevented from buying guns at his store. In December 2018, Jones tried to purchase a handgun, but the store wouldn't sell it to him because he was underage. In July 2021, Jones attempted to buy a rifle, but Dance said he failed a background check.

Dance said the store alerted Virginia State Police to both of those incidents when they happened.

"We will continue to assist law enforcement as they attempt to make sense of this terrible tragedy and we pray for the victims of this tragedy," Dance said in a statement to CBS 6.

CBS 6 also reached out to Virginia State Police who said they have an active investigation into Jones' failed purchase in 2021.

A spokesperson said Jones failed the background check because of a pending criminal charge but that was later reduced to a misdemeanor by the court in October 2021. Once that happened, they said Jones was legally allowed to purchase guns.

Court records show that in 2021, Jones was indicted by a grand jury in Petersburg and was charged with felony failure to stop at the scene of an accident in connection with a crash that happened in August 2020.

In October 2021, that charge was amended to a misdemeanor. Jones was found guilty and sentenced to 12 months in jail with 12 months suspended.

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