Update: According to a statement from the Attorney General’s office on Nov. 17, Miyares has agreed to commence an external review of the events that led to the tragic death of three university students. [Nov. 17, 2022, 1:07 p.m.]
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The University of Virginia announced on Thursday that it sent Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares a request to appoint a special counsel to conduct an independent investigation of the events surrounding the tragedy that occurred on the school’s campus on Nov. 13.
University President Jim Ryan and University Rector Whitt Clement sent a letter to Miyares requesting for a special counsel after a shooting on campus left three university football players dead and injured another football player and a student.
“The University of Virginia community remains in a state of shock and mourning after three members of our community were killed and another two were seriously wounded on Nov. 13,” Ryan said in a statement.
The suspect in the shooting, Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr., was scheduled for a bond hearing on Wednesday morning at the Albemarle General District Court. He reportedly appeared emotionless as his charges were read to him via video link. His next court date is set for Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m.
As the commonwealth’s Attorney General, Miyares has the authority to appoint a special counsel to serve state agencies under specific circumstances.
Miyares accepted the University of Virginia’s request shortly after the school’s letter went out. He will appoint an external firm to begin the review process, which will include a rigorous examination and analysis of the school’s actions before, during and after the shooting.
“After a tragedy of this nature, it is important for the affected institution to take a hard look at what circumstances led up to the event and, how the University responded in the moment,” Clement said in the statement. “Once an external review commences, we expect it to be the central avenue by which we gain a deeper understanding about what led to this tragic event. While many details of the review will involve protected student information or other confidential details, the University will provide as much information as we can through a summary report of the review’s findings and recommendations, once it is complete.”
An external review of the shooting was first mentioned by Ryan in a video message to the university community on Wednesday evening.
Read UVA’s full letter to Miyares requesting for a special counsel investigation below.