CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A University of Virginia student accused of killing three members of the school’s football team and wounding two other students in an on-campus shooting will be held without bond, a judge ordered Wednesday.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. did not enter a plea to the numerous charges he faces during his first court appearance. Appearing by video link from jail, Jones told the judge he plans to hire an attorney, but the judge appointed a public defender to represent him for the time being.
The judge also set a status hearing in the case for Dec. 8.
University officials and police have said Jones, 22, joined a group of about two dozen others on a field trip Sunday from the Charlottesville campus to see a play in the nation’s capital, about 120 miles (195 kilometers) away. When their bus arrived back on campus, authorities have said Jones opened fire, killing Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler, and wounding two others, one of them also a football player.
Jones — who police have said was able to flee the shooting scene, setting off a manhunt and 12-hour campus lockdown — faces three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding and additional gun-related charges.
The violence at the state’s flagship public university has set off days of mourning among students and faculty, the broader Charlottesville community and other supporters. Classes resumed Wednesday, though the school announced it was canceling its final home football game of the season, a Saturday game against Coastal Carolina.
No decision has been made yet about whether UVA will participate in its final game of the season on Nov. 26 against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, the university said in a news release.
Jones has been in custody since he was arrested in suburban Richmond late Monday morning. Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley is handling the case against him.
University President Jim Ryan said Monday that authorities did not have a “full understanding” of the motive behind the shooting. Court documents filed so far in the matter have offered no additional insight.
Jones was a member of the football team during the 2018 season, a one-semester walk-on, according to athletics director Carla Williams.
In interviews, his father has expressed confusion and astonishment and apologized to the victims’ families.
Of the two students who were hospitalized, one was discharged from the medical center Tuesday, according to Eric Swensen, a health system spokesperson.
Family members of Mike Hollins, a running back on the team, have said he underwent a second surgery Tuesday.
Associated Press writer Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.