Murdered UVA students Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler with headshot: coroner

Three University of Virginia football players who were shot on a bus returning from a field trip each died from gunshot wounds to the head, according to the chief medical examiner’s office.

The cause of death of Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler was released Thursday by request from The Associated Press. LaKeshia Johnson, Central District Administrator for the Medical Examiner’s Office, also said in an email that the manner of death was homicide.

The students were shot late Sunday night while returning to campus after their trip to Washington, where they saw a play and had dinner together. Authorities said Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a UVA student and former football team member who was on the trip, began shooting students on the charter bus when it stopped at a campus parking garage.

Jones, 23, is facing second-degree murder and other charges over the shooting, which sparked a manhunt and a 12-hour campus lockdown before Jones was arrested in the Richmond suburb. Jones is being held without bond.

A witness told police the gunman targeted certain victims and shot one in his sleep, a prosecutor said Wednesday at Jones’ first court appearance. Two other students were injured. Neither Jones nor his attorney responded to the charges in court.

Officials said Thursday an outside special counsel would assist the attorney general in reviewing the shooting.

Lavel Davis Jr.
Lavel Davis Jr. was a wide receiver for the University of Virginia.

In a letter, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and University Principal Whitt Clement asked Attorney General Jason Miyares to appoint an outside attorney to investigate the UVA’s response to the shooting, as well as efforts prior to the violence, assess the potential threat posed by the suspect.

“Following a tragedy of this nature, it is important for the affected institution to review closely the circumstances that led to the event and how the university has responded at the moment,” Clement said in a statement.

Miyares granted the university’s request for external review and said he would bring in a special counsel to assist his office.

“A public report will be shared with students, families, the wider UVA community and government officials in due course,” Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said in a statement.

Devin Chandler was shot dead while napping, according to prosecutors.

According to UVA, Jones had been on the radar of the school’s threat assessment team since the fall. The university has also at times made conflicting or incorrect statements about the work of this team throughout the week.

Davis, Perry and Chandler will be honored at a memorial service on campus Saturday. An injured student has since been discharged from a hospital. Footballer Mike Hollins, who was also injured, underwent surgery and is currently recovering in hospital.

Hollins made “positive progress” on Thursday and will hopefully start making some moves, according to Joe Gipson, a spokesman for the family.

In an interview with ESPN on Thursday, Hollin’s mother said her son first thought he heard balloons pop on the bus before seeing Jones. Hollins then shouted for the bus driver to stop and ran off the bus with two other students.

D'Sean Perry
D’Sean Perry was in the middle of his junior season with the Cavaliers.
University of Virginia

Hollins quickly realized no other students had fled the bus and ran back to help, Brenda Hollins said. Her son encountered Jones pointing a gun at him on the first step of the bus, causing Hollins to turn and run.

“All he remembers is that he tried to turn around, but he saw him raise the gun,” Brenda Hollins said. “And he felt his back getting hot … And he pulled his shirt up as he ran and he saw the bullet sticking out of his stomach.”

After taking over the lead of the criminal investigation from campus police, the Virginia State Police Department on Thursday released the most detailed account of what happened to date.

In a press release, the agency said Jones traveled to Washington with other students and a professor to attend a theatrical performance at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The group had dinner together before a professor and 22 students returned to Charlottesville, state police said.

As the bus pulled up in front of the campus parking garage and the students got up to leave, “Jones pulled out a gun and started shooting,” the press release said. As he got off the bus, he fired more shots, fled on foot and eventually left the area in a Dodge Durango, according to state police.

The press release said that Richmond-area investigators are still “putting together the movements of Jones between the time he fled the shooting and was arrested” and could not comment on a motive.

A handgun was recovered “relatively close” to the bus, and no firearms were recovered inside, state police said. According to the press release, a search warrant issued at Jones’s Charlottesville residence resulted in the recovery of a rifle and pistol.

The university said earlier this week that Jones attracted the attention of the university’s threat assessment team this fall over a “potential hazing issue.” UVA has declined to elaborate on the possible hazing incident.

During the threat assessment review, university officials began investigating a report in which Jones had a gun and eventually discovered that Jones had previously been tried and convicted of a 2021 concealed gun violation misdemeanor he said a statement said had not reported.

The school initially said it “escalated his case for disciplinary action” on October 27. But a spokesman, Brian Coy, revised the schedule Tuesday night. He said that likely due to human or technical error, the report was not submitted to the university’s Judiciary Committee, a student-led body, until Tuesday night after the shooting. Murdered UVA students Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler with headshot: coroner


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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