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Suspect in fatal UVA shooting of 3 football players makes court appearance


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The student accused of opening fire on a loaded charter bus, killing three University of Virginia football players and wounding two other classmates, made a brief appearance in court on Thursday.

The suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, appeared in court in Charlottesville for a status conference in the triple-murder case. It was his second court appearance since his arrest in the deadly November attacks.

Jones was represented at the hearing by a public defender.

A judge scheduled a preliminary hearing in the case for March 30, according to ABC affiliate station WSET in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Jones is charged with three felony counts of second-degree murder, two felony counts of malicious wounding and five felony counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He has yet to enter a plea to the charges.f

The shooting unfolded on Nov. 13 when Jones allegedly opened fire with a handgun on a charter bus packed with students returning to the UVA campus in Charlottesville from a field trip to Washington, D.C., officials said.

Killed in the attack were UVA Cavaliers football players Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. The shooting also wounded students Mike Hoins and Marlee Morgan.

Jones was a walk-on member of the school’s football team in 2018, but never played in a game, UVA officials said.

A possible motive for the shooting has not been disclosed by prosecutors or investigators.

As law enforcement continues to investigate the killings, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares is conducting an external review of the circumstances leading up to the attack. Miyares has yet to announce any findings in his probe.

Prosecutors said a witness told police Jones targeted specific students on the bus and that one of the victims, Chandler, was shot to death as he slept on the bus.

Jones was arrested a day after the attack following a massive search for him.

Virginia State Police confirmed that multiple guns and ammunition were seized from Jones’ home.

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