UVA shooting suspect's father in disbelief: 'My heart goes out to their families'

Posted at 5:36 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 12:55:49-05

PETERSBURG, Va. — The father of University of Virginia shooting suspect,Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., said he couldn't believe it was his son when police called him Monday morning.

“My heart goes out to their families. I don’t know what to say, except I’m sorry, on his behalf, and I apologize," said Chris Jones Sr.

Chris Jr. was taken into custody in Henrico Monday afternoon after allegedly shooting five people, including three football players, on university grounds Sunday night.

He's been charged with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, University of Virginia Police Chief Tim Longo said.

Chris Jr. had once played on the football team, but he had not been a member of the team for at least a year, according to police.

When he wasn't at UVA, he stayed in an apartment with his father and grandmother.

It's been about month since Chris Sr. last saw his son, who had come home to do laundry. Chris Sr. said he had a conversation with his son while he was there about some things happening at school.

"Yeah he was real paranoid, when I talked to him, about some things. He wouldn’t tell me everything," said Chris Sr. "He said some people were picking on him or whatever, he didn’t know how to handle it. I just told him to just go to school, don’t pay them no mind, do what you got to do, you only got one more year.”

Chris Jr. came to Petersburg High School for his senior year after bouncing around Richmond and Henrico County.

While in Petersburg, he won an award for scholastic achievement, made the national honor society and was accepted at UVA. But a Richmond Times Dispatch newspaper article written during the time Chris Jr. was graduating high school painted a picture of someone who for years got into fights at school, faced multiple suspensions and had a tough time accepting the fact his dad left the family.

"Me and his mother separated when he was five," said Chris Sr. "I was out of his life for 11 years.”

His dad, like many others, are left searching for answers.

"What happened? Why did it have to get this far? He could have called me," he said.

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