UVA to pay $9 million to families of victims of 2022 shooting that killed 3 football players and injured 2 others

The University of Virginia will pay $9 million as part of a settlement reached with the families of victims of a 2022 campus shooting that killed three college football players and injured two other students, a lawyer representing some of the victims and their families.

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 injured students: Mike Hollins, fourth member of the football team, and Marlee Morgan.

Some families, however, are not satisfied and are demanding the immediate release of an independent investigation into the shooting that concluded last year. The investigation focused on the university's efforts to assess the potential threat of the suspect, a student who was ultimately charged with murder, and recommendations arising from what was discovered during the investigation .


UVA football players

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

The suspected shooter was identified by police as Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 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 occurred because he displayed several red flags due to his erratic and unstable behavior.

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

University officials delayed releasing the report last year, fearing it would impact the suspect's upcoming trial.

“We are committed to providing it as soon as we can be sure that it will not interfere in any way with the criminal proceedings,” 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 any settlement in Virginia must be approved by a judge, and the settlement was accepted by an Albemarle County Circuit Court judge Friday afternoon.

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

Mike Hollins Jr., an individual injured in the University of Virginia shooting, wears an orange and black suit and tie.

UVA football player Michael Hollins Jr. is one of two surviving victims of a shooting that also killed three of his teammates. (Virginia Cavaliers official athletics website)

UVA Provost Robert Hardie and President Ryan said in a statement Friday that the lives of the three deceased students were “tragically cut short” and that these victims “are still fresh in our minds.”

“We will always remember the impact that Devin, Lavel and D’Sean had on our community, and we are grateful for the times they spent in our presence elevating UVA through their time in the classroom and on the football field”, we can read in the press release. said.

The shooting happened as the suspect was returning by charter bus to campus after a field trip to see a play in Washington, authorities said.

The incident began near a parking lot and sparked panic and a campus lockdown for 12 hours until the suspect was taken into custody. Jones Jr. has a trial on murder and other charges scheduled for January.

Days after the shooting, university officials requested outside expertise to investigate campus security policies and procedures, the university's response to the shooting and its previous efforts to assess the suspect's potential threat. School officials acknowledged that Jones Jr. was previously on the radar of the university's threat assessment team.

The university initially said the report, completed in October, would be released in November before changing its position due to concerns it would affect the suspect's trial.


Photo by Christopher Darnell Jones Jr.

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


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's my right to know what happened,” Happy Perry told reporters. “At this point, it’s a matter of public safety and national security that we get this report.”

Hollins' mother said she felt mixed emotions Friday after the settlement. She also spoke about how devastated and transformed all of the victims' families were.

“You put on a smile and throughout the day you might be able to move forward,” Brenda Hollins said. “But then it takes over you. And if you don't get it done in that moment, then it consumes you.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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