UVA to pay $9 million to families of victims in 2022 shooting that killed 3 football players, wounded 2 others

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The University of Virginia will pay $9 million in a settlement reached with the families of the victims of a 2022 campus shooting that killed three university football players and wounded two other students, a lawyer representing some of the victims and their families announced Friday.

The school will pay $2 million each to the families of D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr., the maximum allowed under Virginia law, according to attorney Kimberly Wald, who represents some of the families.

A total of $3 million will also be paid to the two students who were wounded — Mike Hollins, a fourth member of the football team, and Marlee Morgan.

Some of the families, however, are not satisfied and are demanding the immediate release of an independent investigation into the shooting that was completed last year. The probe’s focus included efforts by the university to assess the potential threat of the suspect, a student who was eventually charged with murder, and recommendations from what was discovered in the investigation.

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UVA football players

University of Virginia football players Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry. (University of Virginia athletics)

The alleged shooter was identified by police as Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who was a UVA student and former member of the school’s football team.

Wald, who represents Perry’s estate, said the university should have removed the alleged shooter from campus before the attack happened because he displayed multiple red flags through erratic and unstable behavior.

“This settlement today is only one small step for these families — there is much to be done,” Wald said. “If there is one lesson, even one lesson that we can learn from that report, we need to know it now … We need to protect lives now.”

University officials delayed the report’s release last year over concerns that it could impact the suspect’s upcoming trial.

“We are committed to providing it as soon as we can be sure that doing so will not interfere in any way with the criminal proceeding,” UVA President Jim Ryan said at the time.

The settlement was negotiated outside of court and did not follow the filing of a lawsuit, according to Wald. But every settlement in Virginia must be approved by a judge, and the settlement was accepted by a judge in Albemarle County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon.

The agreements were also approved by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, the university said in a statement.

Mike Hollins Jr., one individual wounded during the University of Virginia shooting, wears a suit and orange and black tie

UVA football player Michael Hollins Jr. is one of the two surviving victims of a shooting that also killed three of his teammates.   (Virginia Cavaliers Official Athletic Site)

UVA Rector Robert Hardie and President Ryan said in the statement Friday that the three deceased students’ lives were “tragically cut short” and these victims “have been ever present in our minds.”

“We will forever remember the impact that Devin, Lavel, and D’Sean had on our community, and we are grateful for the moments they spent in our presence uplifting UVA through their time in the classroom and on the football field,” the statement said.

The shooting happened when the suspect returned by charter bus to campus from a field trip to see a play in Washington, according to authorities.

The incident began near a parking garage and set off panic and a 12-hour lockdown of the campus until the suspect was taken into custody. Jones Jr. has a trial for murder and other charges scheduled for January.

Days after the shooting, university officials sought an outside review to investigate campus safety policies and procedures, the university’s response to the shooting and its previous efforts to assess the potential threat of the suspect. School officials acknowledged Jones Jr. was previously on the radar of the university’s threat-assessment team.

The university initially said the report, which was completed in October, would be released in November before it changed its stance due to concerns about affecting the suspect’s trial.

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Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. picture

University of Virginia police released a picture of Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who has been named as the suspect in a shooting on the UVA campus on Nov. 13, 2022. (University of Virginia police/Twitter)

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Perry’s mother said Friday that the report should be released now if it can help prevent similar shootings.

“As a mom, I want to know what happened. It is my right to know what happened,” Happy Perry told reporters. “At this point, it is an issue of public safety and national security that we get that report.”

Hollins’ mother said she felt mixed emotions Friday after the settlement. She also explained about how devastated and changed all the victims’ families are.

“You put on your smile, and throughout the day you may be able to move forward,” Brenda Hollins said. “But then it just creeps up on you. And if you do not address it at that moment, then it consumes you.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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