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Bond hearing to be held for suspect in University of Virginia shooting


The University of Virginia student accused of shooting dead three members of the school’s football team was expected on Wednesday to appear for a bond hearing in criminal court where he faces homicide and firearms charges.

The suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones, was scheduled to appear in Albemarle General District Court at 9 a.m. local time on three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a firearm in commission of a felony, according to online court records.

Jones, who also faces two counts of malicious wounding, will appear through teleconference, local media reported.

It was unclear if Jones had retained a lawyer as one was not listed online for him.

Jones is accused of opening fire inside a bus full of students returning from a field trip to see a play in Washington D.C. on Sunday night. The shooting unfold after the bus pulled into a parking garage on campus at the school in Charlottesville, Virginia, attended by 25,000 students.

Killed in the shooting were Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis and D’Sean Perry, all members of the school’s football team. Two other students were wounded and taken to University of Virginia Medical Center.

“It feels like it’s a nightmare, to be honest with you, and I’m ready for somebody to pinch me and wake me up and say that this didn’t happen,” First-year Virginia football coach Tony Elliott said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The shooting was the latest episode of gun violence on U.S. college and high school campuses. The bloodshed has fueled debate over tighter restrictions on access to guns in the United States, where the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.

Minutes after the shooting, school officials issued alerts on social media telling students and staff to shelter in place, with one tweet saying to “RUN HIDE FIGHT.”

The sprawling campus remained on alert through the night and morning as law enforcement officers conducted a massive manhunt for Jones, who was later taken into custody.

In 2007, a massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, about 150 miles (241 km) southwest of Charlottesville, left 33 people dead including the shooter, and 23 injured in one of the deadliest college mass shootings in U.S. history.

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