Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. charged with three counts of second-degree murder after opening fire on a bus at the University of Virginia. Photo courtesy University of Virginia Police Department
Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The Virginia State Police are taking over the investigation into a shooting that killed three people and injured two more on the University of Virginia campus Sunday.
The state police announced it was assuming control of the investigation in a statement on Thursday.
"VSP has been engaged since the early stages of the incident in cooperation with university, local, and federal law enforcement agencies," the statement said. "Due to the investigation's expansion across multiple jurisdictions, VSP is able to bring additional resources and personnel to this active and complex investigation."
University President Jim Ryan addressed the student body in a video on Facebook, sharing updates on the investigation and how the university will proceed.
"There's nothing normal about what we're going through as a community," Ryan said. "We are also inviting an external review with respect to the university's interactions with the suspect and whether we did all we could to prevent or avoid this tragedy."
Ryan said the investigation will take some time.
"It is possible and perhaps likely that we will never find one single thing that will explain this," he added. "It may also be that we never truly understand why this happened."
Virginia will not play its scheduled home football game against Coastal Carolina on Saturday. Instead, the school will hold a memorial service that afternoon. Meeting spaces and counseling services are being offered across campus for those who need it, according to Ryan.
On Sunday at about 10:30 p.m. Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. allegedly opened fire on a bus that was returning from a field trip, killing three people and injuring two. Jones fled the scene and a manhunt ensued with the understanding that he was armed and dangerous. On Monday, he was found and arrested.
The deceased victims were identified as Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D'Sean Perry. All three were members of the Virginia Cavaliers football team. Jones was a former walk-on for the team, joining in 2018.
It is unclear if he had a relationship with any of the victims. He remained a student at the school after his time with the team ended, and was along for the field trip that was returning from Washington D.C.
Marlee Morgan and Michael Hollins, a running back on the football team, were injured during the shooting.
Officials have not released information about Jones' motive for the shooting. A witness to the incident said she heard Jones arguing with one of the victims before shots were fired.
"[Jones] got up and pushed Lavel," Ryan Lynch told CNN affiliate KYW-TV. "After he pushed him, he was like 'You guys are always messing with me.' Said something weird like that, but it was very bizarre because they didn't talk to him the whole trip."
Jones is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, five firearms charges and additional charges for the malicious wounding of Hollins and Morgan, according to ABC affiliate WRIC-TV in Richmond, Va.
Students and residents of Charlottesville, Va., were ordered to shelter in place after word of the shooting broke. The order remained in effect for about 12 hours.