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3 football players killed, 2 students hurt in mass shooting at University of Virginia, suspect apprehended

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(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — A suspect is in custody after three football players were killed and two other students were injured in a mass shooting at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Sunday night, authorities said.

The shooting took place on a bus full of students returning home from a class field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C., university officials said.

All three victims killed were on the football team, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan said at a news conference.

The suspect, identified as student Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was taken into custody Monday morning following an overnight manhunt, authorities announced.

Jones was a running back for the university’s football team in 2018, though he never played in a game.

A motive is not clear, Ryan said.

One injured student is in critical condition and the other is in good condition, Ryan said Monday.

The shooting was reported on the University of Virginia’s campus at about 10:30 p.m. local time, according to police.

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

“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.

“I’m terrified,” she said.

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.

The university’s president cancelled classes for Monday.

“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 said. “I am holding the victims, their families, and all members of the University of Virginia community in my heart today.”

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

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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