3 killed in shooting at University of Virginia

3 killed in shooting at University of Virginia
AP Photo/Nathan Ellgren

It’s always a good day when you get to start the week with some good news.

This is not going to be a good day.

It seems that last night, there was a shooting somewhere at the University of Virginia that left three people dead and two others injured.

Police at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville are searching for a former football player who is accused of killing three and injuring two in a shooting on campus Sunday night.

The shooting was initially reported around 10:30 p.m. Sunday when shots were fired in the Culbreth parking garage. Shortly after, a campus-wide alert was issued announcing the suspect was at large and telling all people at UVA to shelter in place.

University police said they are looking for Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. in connection with the shooting. Jones is reportedly a former UVA football player.

He was last seen wearing a burgundy jacket/hoodie, blue jeans and red shoes. Police said he could be driving a black SUV with Virginia tag TWX3580.

Jones is believed to be armed and extremely dangerous. If anyone sees him, authorities advise them to call 911.

Right now, there’s not much more information available, including a potential motive.

For what it’s worth, this appears to meet the definition of a mass shooting. However, we don’t know if this might have been related to some kind of criminal enterprise or whether this was motivated by something else. Based on the time and location–a parking garage fairly late at night on a Sunday–it’s unlikely this was simply a statement or pent-up rage exploding at the world like what most of us think of as mass shootings.

Not that the details like that matter to those who lost a loved one in that parking garage, nor to those who are currently recovering from their wounds.

I suspect that, in time, we’ll learn more about what happened. As for right now, we have more questions than answers.

Of course, some will likely start pushing gun control right off the bat, yet it should be noted that this parking garage is on the University of Virginia campus, near several of the athletic facilities at the school. Since the University of Virginia doesn’t allow guns on campus, anyone carrying one there would already be breaking gun control laws.

So let’s just hold up a bit before we start demanding new legislation, especially when there are so many unanswered questions.

As it stands, this is likely to shake the university to its foundations, as any such shooting does. Yet we must also keep in mind that despite sounding like a mass shooting, this doesn’t appear to be the same as what happened at, say, Virginia Tech.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s bad enough. Yet before we jump to conclusions on how to address this, we need to wait for details and, hopefully, catch the alleged shooter before anyone else gets hurt. Those need to be the priorities for now.

We’ll have time for debate later.