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Alleged UVA gunman makes first court appearance, days after deadly shooting

UVA student Christopher Darnell Jones faces several charges, including second-degree murder.

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. — The man accused of shooting five people at the University of Virginia earlier this week made his first court appearance Wednesday morning.

The shooting happened on a charter bus on UVA's grounds after 10 p.m. Sunday night. Three UVA football players died — Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D'Sean Perry — and two other people were hurt.

UVA student Christopher Darnell Jones was arrested in Henrico County, over 70 miles from the university, less than a day after the shooting.

RELATED: What we know about the University of Virginia shooting

Jones was initially charged with three counts each of second-degree murder and using a handgun in the commission of a felony. He faces additional two charges of malicious bodily injury.

During the court hearing, Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Hingeley, the prosecutor, said two witnesses on the bus identified Jones as the shooter.

According to Hingeley, the witnesses recounted that Jones pointed a gun at Chandler and shot him while he was sleeping. They said the shooting wasn't random; he was shooting at certain people.

“We are all grieving and sad and devastated by these events in our community," Hingeley said.

Hingeley said Jones has three prior convictions on his record. One is a concealed weapons violation in Chesterfield County. He was convicted in 2021, and got a 12-month suspended sentence.

He said a Petersburg judge also convicted Jones for hit and run property damage and reckless driving - and got 12-month suspended sentences on each of those charges, too.

The presiding judge Wednesday morning was Andrew Sneathern with the Albemarle General District Court. Judge Matthew Quatrara recused himself since he was involved with Jones' arrest warrants.

Jones was appointed an interim defense attorney while he looks to hire his own lawyer. In court, he told the judge he was working at the Charlottesville Boys and Girls Club.

The next court date is set for Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m. to see if Jones hired a lawyer, and set more dates from there.

Jones is at Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail. 13News Now reached out to see if Jones would like to speak with us, but the jail superintendent said he is not doing interviews at this time.

Virginia State Police announced on November 17 that they would be taking lead of the investigation. 

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