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Three dead in shooting at University of Virginia, suspect at large

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — A suspect is on the run after at least three people were killed and two others were injured in a shooting at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Sunday night, authorities said.

In a statement sent to the university’s community early Monday and subsequently shared with ABC News by school officials, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan identified the suspect as student Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. The University of Virginia Police Department also named Jones as the suspect at large via Twitter.

Both Ryan and police confirmed that “multiple” law enforcement agencies are actively searching for Jones, who they said is “armed and dangerous.” Police ordered the university community to “shelter in place” in the meantime.

“As of this writing, I am heartbroken to report that the shooting has resulted in three fatalities; two additional victims were injured and are receiving medical care,” Ryan said in the statement. “We are working closely with the families of the victims, and we will share additional detail as soon as we are able.”

Jones is described as a Black man wearing a burgundy jacket, blue jeans and red shoes. He may be driving a black SUV with Virginia license plates, police said.

The UVA Police Department is looking for Christopher Darnell Jones regarding the shooting incident that occurred on the grounds of the University of Virginia. Call 911 if seen, do not approach. pic.twitter.com/mKcxF6ksxw

— UVA Police Department (@UVAPolice) November 14, 2022

The shooting was reported on the University of Virginia’s campus in the area of Culbreth Road on Sunday at about 10:30 p.m. local time, according to Ryan and police.

University of Virginia sophomore Em Gunter said she was in her dormitory doing schoolwork when she heard gunshots late Sunday.

“I looked over to my friend and like, ‘Did you hear that?’ I was like, ‘I think that was like gunfire,"” Gunter recalled in a telephone interview with ABC News early Monday, while sheltering in place.

Gunter said she and her peers have been sheltering in place in their dorm rooms for nearly six hours.

“I’m terrified,” she added. “I have no words.”

The university’s president cancelled classes for Monday due to the deadly shooting, which he called a “traumatic incident for everyone in our community.”

“This is a message any leader hopes never to have to send, and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia,” Ryan added. “I am holding the victims, their families, and all members of the University of Virginia community in my heart today, and we will make plans to come together as a community to grieve as soon as the suspect is apprehended.”

Gunter invited her friend Nicholas Lansing to shelter in her third-floor dorm room, since his is on the ground floor.

“I have one locked door, but I also have a glass window that leads directly outside. So I’ve been up here on the third floor in Em’s room for the past three and a half hours,” Lansing, a University of Virginia junior, told ABC News via telephone. “I don’t want to go downstairs with an active shooting and suspects still not found.”

ABC News’ Peter Charalambous, Melissa Gaffney and Lauren Minore contributed to this report.

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