Molly is in 12th grade, this is her 3rd year in Journalism. She manages the varsity football team and she loves to cook. After college she wants to be...
Tragic Loss at University of Virginia
December 7, 2022
On Nov. 13, 2022, a tragic and shocking shooting took place at the University of Virginia (UVA), just 30 minutes away from FCHS. Gunshots were heard at the Culbreth parking garage on the UVA main campus as a class on a bus had just returned from a field trip to Washington, D.C. Students on the UVA campus had to take shelter overnight and into the next morning as police sought the shooter.
Five students had been shot and three of the victims died on the bus: second-year student Devin Chandler, third-year student Lavel Davis Jr., and fourth-year student D’Sean Perry. Two other victims were hospitalized at the University of Virginia Hospital.
After a 12-hour manhunt, the suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones, was found and arrested in Eastern Henrico by the Henrico Police Department. He has been charged with several charges, including three counts of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Thus far, there is no clear motive for his actions.
Since the shooting, student Marlee Morgan, who was shot, was released from the hospital, and student Mike Hollins is reportedly recovering in the hospital and walking around. On Nov. 19, the University of Virginia held a memorial for the lives that were lost.
On the day after the shooting, UVA President Jim Ryan said, “This has been an unimaginably sad day for our community.” He added, “The entire university community is grieving this morning. My heart is broken for the victims and their families and for all who knew and loved them.”
With this happening so close to Fluvanna County, the shooting had some FCHS students and staff on edge, especially those families who have children at UVA, or who work there. For example, my mom, Marie Pace, who works at the president’s house at UVA, was shocked when she heard this tragic news.
“My first thoughts were about the safety of everyone on Grounds. So many people were sheltering in place and waiting for additional information,” said Pace. “I was worried about all the students, faculty, staff and community members, and it was hard not to be able to help,” she added.
Pace also noted “I think this event has affected everyone in different ways. Some students felt nervous about returning to class and some students were eager to return to some sense of normalcy. I think the most important thing was, and is, to be sure that the students feel supported and safe going forward.”
The UVA community is a fairly strong community, so when this tragic shooting happened it definitely had an impact. “UVA is an incredibly special place where people genuinely care about each other. Watching faculty, staff and students gather together to grieve, to reflect, and to support one another has been inspiring,” Pace said. “I think it’s key that we will continue to honor Devin, Lavel, and D’Sean, and that we never forget them. We will look for light in the darkness, and move toward that together,” Pace added.