University of Virginia Football Cancels Last Home Game After Tragic Shooting Deaths of Three Players

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

The University of Virginia football team and athletics department canceled the Cavalier’s upcoming home football matchup against Coastal Carolina University.

Three Virginia players were killed and two others were injured in a tragic shooting over the weekend. On Sunday night, five students were shot and killed on campus after returning from a play in Washington, D.C.

The fatal victims of the shooting were junior wide receivers Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry, a junior linebacker. Chandler and Perry died at the scene of the shooting. Davis Jr. later died at the hospital.

UVA running back Mike Hollins was also injured in the shooting, along with another student named Marlee Morgan, NBC reports. According to the outlet, Hollins currently remains in stable condition after multiple surgeries. Morgan, a sophomore student from Texas, has been released from the hospital, per reports.

The suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was arrested Monday morning after an intense manhunt. Jones fled the scene of the shooting on Monday and was taken into custody on three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony.

“It feels like it’s a nightmare, to be honest with you,” head coach Tony Elliott said during a Tuesday press conference. “I’m ready for somebody to pinch me and wake me up and say that this didn’t happen.”

The Nov. 19 matchup has now been canceled.

UVA’s final home game of the 2022 season will be a road matchup against their rival Virginia Tech. The athletics department hasn’t yet decided if the Cavaliers will play in their final game of the season on Nov. 26.

University of Virginia Athletics Department Officials Speak Out

Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. formerly played on the football team for a season. He was a walk-on running back in 2018, where he never saw any game action. The three Virginia football players who were killed were all juniors, and none of them were on campus when Jones was on the UVA football team.

In response to the heartbreaking deaths, the University of Virginia released statements from football coach Tony Elliott and athletics director Carla Williams about the tragedy.

“I cannot find the words to express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling today after the tragic events last night that resulted in the deaths of Lavel, D’Sean, and Devin, and the others who were injured,” head coach Tony Elliott wrote. “These were incredible young men with huge aspirations and extremely bright futures. Our hearts ache for their families, their classmates and their friends.”

The statement continued: “These precious young men were called away too soon. We are all fortunate to have them be a part of our lives. They touched us, inspired us and worked incredibly hard as representatives of our program, university and community. Rest in peace, young men.”

According to witnesses, shots weren’t fired until the bus pulled up to the theater building late Sunday. Despite all five football players on the field trip having played in their Saturday game, they all showed up for the 11:30 a.m. departure time.

On the way back to Charlottesville, the players and their friends sat towards the front of the bus, while Jones was in the back, according to reports. Witnesses also claim Jones seemed to target the football players.