Police in the mid-Atlantic state of Virginia have arrested a suspect in a shooting at the University of Virginia that left three members of the college's football team dead.
University police said during a news conference Monday that the shooting took place Sunday night on a bus filled with students who were returning from an off-campus trip.
The shooting prompted authorities to lock down the University of Virginia's campus in Charlottesville, telling students and staff to shelter in place for hours as they conducted a search for the suspect.
University President James Ryan identified the suspect as Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a student at the college who had played for U.Va.'s football team in 2018. The suspect has been charged with three counts each of second-degree murder and committing a felony with a firearm.
Ryan told reporters at Monday's news conference that two other students were wounded in the shooting and said one was in critical condition.
In a statement earlier Monday, Ryan said, "This is a traumatic incident for everyone in our community, and we have canceled classes for today. This is a message any leader hopes never to have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia," he wrote.
Ryan said authorities did not yet have a "full understanding" of the motive or circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Campus police chief Tim Longo said the suspect was known to campus police after someone alleged he had a weapon in the fall of 2022. Campus police investigated but were not able to confirm Jones had a firearm.
U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife Jill were "mourning with the University of Virginia community after yet another deadly shooting in America," according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
"Too many families across America are bearing the awful burden of gun violence. … We need to enact an assault-weapons ban to get weapons of war off America's streets," Jean-Pierre said in a statement Monday.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin wrote Monday on Twitter, "We had a horrific tragedy overnight at UVA, lives were lost and families changed forever. Due to the diligence and commitment of our law enforcement, the suspect is in custody."
In 2007, a student at Virginia Tech, a university about 240 kilometers away from Charlottesville, carried out the deadliest U.S. school shooting, killing 32 people before killing himself. (KB/VOA)