The Virginia football team has begun the process of healing following the deaths of three players.
At a news conference Tuesday, coach Tony Elliott said he and the team took time Tuesday to celebrate the lives of the trio.
“We were able to transition from the pain to finding a little bit of joy in celebrating the lives of all of Lavel, D’Sean and Devin,” Elliott said.
Cavaliers athletic director Carla Williams said a decision will be made soon about the Cavs’ Saturday home football game against No. 23 Coastal Carolina.
“It feels like it’s a nightmare, to be honest with you,” Elliott said. “And I’m ready for somebody to pinch me and wake me up and say that this didn’t happen.”
The three players were shot and killed and two other students were wounded on a charter bus after students returned to campus from a field trip.
The suspected shooter is former Virginia football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who was arrested by police Monday.
Jones, 22, was transferred to the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail on Tuesday from a facility in Henrico County, Virginia, where he had been arrested without incident the day before. He was being held without bail on three felony charges of second-degree murder and firearm use in the commission of a felony. Additionally, Jones faces two counts of malicious wounding and additional gun-related charges, Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney James Hingeley told the Associated Press. Jones is expected to appear in court Wednesday.
Cavaliers junior receiver Lavel Davis Jr. of Dorchester, South Carolina; junior receiver Devin Chandler of Huntersville, North Carolina; and junior defensive end/linebacker D’Sean Perry of Miami were killed. The family of junior running back Mike Hollins has said he is one of the hospitalized victims. A University of Virginia official confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday that the other student who survived was a female and non-athlete, she is considered to be in good condition.
Gordon McKernan, a spokesman for the Hollins family, told ESPN that Hollins had emergency surgery on Sunday night to remove a bullet from his stomach. Doctors performed a second surgery to check for internal injuries and were encouraged by what they found, according to McKernan.
McKernan said doctors removed Hollins from a ventilator after the second surgery.
Jones was a walk-on member of the Virginia football team in the fall of 2018. He had a pre-existing lower-body injury when he arrived on campus, according to former Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall, and was unable to practice or play in a game. Jones left the team the next semester, according to Mendenhall.
Mendenhall, who coached the Cavaliers from 2016 to 2021, didn’t recall Jones having any disciplinary issues in his short time with the team.
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Mendenhall said. “I know he remained a UVA student. But I don’t have any other understanding of it. He was a classmate of these guys and there were other players in the same class, so I just don’t understand it. I wish I could provide more insight but his time with the program was so short and so long ago. There was never anything that came across my desk with any discipline or behavior issues. And with being hurt the whole time, he wasn’t really integrated into the program in that one semester.”
Classes are expected to resume Wednesday, but undergrads will not be required to complete any graded assignments or take exams before Thanksgiving break.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, David Hale and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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