The campus is in shock. Three members of the University of Virginia (UVA) American football team in the eastern United States were killed Sunday evening in a shooting in which the suspect, a former member of the team, said been arrested, authorities said Monday at a news conference. The shooting took place on a bus as the students were returning from a field trip where they had attended a play, president Jim Ryan said.
This killing on the main campus of the UVA in Charlottesville, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also injured two other students, one of them seriously, said the president of this university, Jim Ryan. Local police chief Timothy Longo added that the suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr, a 22-year-old UVA student, had been arrested, without giving details as to how the arrest took place. He was charged with murder, according to the washington post. The suspect was listed in the team’s roaster in 2018 but hasn’t played since.
The campus, cordoned off all night and crisscrossed by patrols and helicopters in search of the suspect before his arrest, has now reopened, said Jim Ryan. Classes for the day have been cancelled. “It’s a day of incredible sadness,” he said at the press conference. “The whole university is in mourning this morning. He called on those who “need help” to call on the resources deployed by the university, including psychological support.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, speaking on Twitter of a “horrible tragedy” where families’ lives were “changed forever”, praised the work of law enforcement that led to the arrest. Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said on Twitter on Monday that he was “deeply moved to learn that more Virginians have been wiped out by gun violence.”
School shootings are common in the United States, and each time revive the debate on better supervision of firearms. In April 2007, such a tragedy had already struck Virginia: an unbalanced student had shot dead 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech University, in Blacksburg, before committing suicide.
Drama in Idaho
The emotion caused by this tragedy was further amplified by the announcement of the discovery on Sunday of the lifeless bodies of four students from another establishment, the University of Idaho (west).
“It is with great sadness that I share with you information the university was notified of today about the deaths of four University of Idaho students who lived off campus and were allegedly victims of ‘Homicide,’ facility president Scott Green said in a statement.
Police in the city of Moscow, where the bodies were found, have opened an investigation. The police, however, consider that the situation does not present a “direct threat”, added the official.
A third incident added to tensions on Monday morning, when Oakland University, near Detroit, Michigan (northern United States), asked its students and staff not to go to its campus, where the police was looking for two armed suspects, before indicating a few hours later that everything was back to normal.