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Virginia Cancels Home Finale After Shooting that Killed 3 Football Players

Virginia has canceled its game against Coastal Carolina on Saturday after the shooting deaths of players Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler, the school announced Wednesday.

No decision has been made on the season finale against Virginia Tech on Nov. 26 in Blacksburg.

Davis, Perry, Chandler, running back Mike Hollins, and another student was shot Sunday night after returning to campus from a class field trip. Hollins survived but remained hospitalized after being shot in the back. The other student who survived is considered to be in good condition. 

Instead of Saturday’s game, a memorial service for the three players killed will be held at 3:30 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena, university president Jim Ryan announced Wednesday night. It will be open to the public and live-streamed. 

The suspected shooter is former Virginia football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who was arrested by police Monday. Jones, 22, was denied bail during a court hearing Wednesday. 

Jones faces three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding, and additional gun-related charges. Jones did not enter a plea Wednesday. Appearing by video link from jail, Jones told Albemarle General District Court Judge Kenneth Andrew Sneathern he plans to hire an attorney, but the judge appointed a public defender to represent him for the time being. 

The judge also set a status hearing in the case for Dec. 8.

In a news conference Tuesday, Virginia athletic director Carla Williams had said her department would consult with coach Tony Elliot and the team about playing Saturday’s game. 

“Obviously, they’re going through a lot, and we want to make sure they’re involved as well. We’ll use our best judgment,” Williams said. 

“It feels like it’s a nightmare, to be honest with you,” head coach Tony Elliot said Tuesday.

“For me, the coping mechanism is the young men. Having a chance to be around them and to see them, and to see their pain, to see their hurt just inspires me to keep pushing forward each and every day. There’s no – you prepare for this job. There’s no chapter on a situation like this. So I’m trying to figure out step-by-step how to be strong for these young men.”

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