CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — An independent, third-party review requested by the University of Virginia (UVA) is now complete and could shed light on events leading up to a horrific shooting at the school that made national headlines last fall.
Tragedy froze time at the University of Virginia on Nov. 13 last year when a school trip turned deadly. UVA football players D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis, Jr. lost their lives to gunfire. Their fellow classmate — Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. — is believed to be responsible.
Last fall, as the community mourned, questions came up about Jones’ past. The University of Virginia requested an external group-led review of the situation.
About 30% of the work security expert Michael Jones does is related to reviews like this.
“They will look at the incident as it played out in public documents, internal documents, policies and procedures,” Jones explained. “[Reviewers] also evaluate the actions of the people involved, in this case, the university.”
This report was conducted by two external legal counselors who were appointed by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares. These experts dove deeper — evaluating policies in place that were or were not followed, as well as threat assessment protocol and more.
“Did we do it right, did we do wrong, was that intentionally wrong or is it just a mistake?” Jones listed off questions these reports aim to answer. “And then, what do we need to do to improve our process?”
Shortly after the shooting, the university’s police chief confirmed that UVA’s threat assessment team was aware Christopher Darnell Jones had previously claimed to have a gun. The team reportedly investigated this tip but did not find anything — this occurred about two months prior to the deadly shooting.
8News also learned that the accused shooter had a criminal history involving firearms and was reportedly caught up in a prior hazing incident. These findings contributed to why Jones believes certain conditions were overlooked.
“Had the university taken a more proactive approach in managing that gun incident, perhaps we would not be where we are today with the loss of life and with the university being tagged with yet another tragedy,” Jones said.
At this point, the review has only been released to the school, meaning that it could be a while before details are made public.
“[The review] is not a ‘gotcha’ type situation,” Jones explained. “It’s a process improvement. Let’s make it better so we can prevent this.”
A UVA spokesperson told 8News that the school is committed to learning as much as possible about how to keep the community safe moving forward. They added that — due to the review’s length — it will take time for officials to go through the entire report; but they’re hoping to finish doing so, and to release the findings to the public by early November.