Virginia students were prepared for shooting, not aftermath

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — College students huddled inside laboratory closets and darkened dorm rooms throughout the College of Virginia whereas others moved far-off from library home windows and barricaded the doorways of its stately educational buildings after an ominous warning flashed on their screens: “RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.”

Responding to the fast risk of an on-campus taking pictures was a second they’d ready for since their first years of elementary college. However coping with the emotional trauma of an assault that killed three members of the college’s soccer workforce late Sunday left college students shaken and greedy to grasp.

“This can most likely have an effect on our campus for a really, very very long time,” stated Shannon Lake, a third-year scholar from Crozet, Virginia.

For 12 hours, she hid with mates and different college students, a lot of that point in a storage closet, whereas authorities searched into Monday morning for the suspect earlier than he was taken into custody.

When Lake and the others heard somebody could be proper exterior the enterprise college constructing, all of them determined to enter the closet, flip off the lights and barricade the door.

“That was most likely essentially the most terrifying second as a result of it grew to become extra actual to us, and reminded us of these apply college lockdowns as kids. And it was simply sort of a surreal second the place, you already know, I don’t suppose any of us have been actually processing what was happening,” she stated.

Police charged 22-year-old scholar Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. with three counts of second-degree homicide, saying the three victims have been killed simply after 10:15 p.m. as a constitution bus full of scholars returned from seeing a play in Washington. Two different college students have been wounded.

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College President Jim Ryan stated authorities didn’t have a “full understanding” of the motive or circumstances surrounding the taking pictures.

Police carried out a building-by-building search of the campus whereas college students sheltered in place earlier than the lockdown order was lifted late Monday morning.

Charlotte Goeb, a scholar who lives in an house a couple of half-mile (800 meters) away from the place the taking pictures scene, instantly checked her doorways and shut off the lights after getting an alert from the college.

“I’m having a tough time coming to phrases that this was occurring,” she stated. “Regardless that you spend your entire upbringing figuring out this could occur.”

Ellie Wilkie, a fourth-year scholar, was about to go away her room on the college’s prestigious, historic Garden on the heart of campus when her group texts with mates started exploding with phrase of the taking pictures. However she didn’t barricade herself in straight away.

“I feel our era has been so habituated to those being drills and this being commonplace that I didn’t even suppose it was all that critical till I bought an e mail that stated, ‘Run. Disguise. Combat,’ all caps,” she stated.

Wilkie moved a big trunk she makes use of for storage in entrance of the door and put her mattress on prime of that. She turned off the lights, unplugged something which may make noise, put her telephone on do-not-disturb mode, bought beneath the covers of her prime bunk and texted her mother, who referred to as again, terrified.

She picked up however informed her mother: “I’ve to get off the telephone now. I can’t be making noise in right here.”

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College Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. stated the suspect had as soon as been on the soccer workforce, however he had not been a part of the workforce for at the least a yr. The UVA soccer web site listed Jones as a workforce member through the 2018 season and stated he didn’t play in any video games.

It was not instantly clear whether or not Jones had an lawyer or when he would make his first courtroom look.

Hours after Jones was arrested, first-year head soccer coach Tony Elliott sat alone exterior the athletic constructing utilized by the workforce, at instances along with his head in his arms. He stated the victims “have been all good youngsters.”

Elizabeth Paul was working at a desktop laptop within the Clemons library when she bought a name from her mother concerning the taking pictures. She thought it was most likely one thing minor till the pc she was utilizing lit up with a warning about an energetic shooter.

She spent about 12 hours huddled with a number of others beneath home windows within the library, hoping that if gunfire did erupt, they might be out of sight. She spent many of the evening on the telephone together with her mother.

“Not even speaking to her the entire time essentially, however she needed the road to be on in order that if I wanted one thing she was there,” Paul stated.

Em Gunter, a second-year anthropology scholar, heard three gunshots after which three extra whereas she was learning genetics in her dorm room.

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She informed everybody on her ground to go of their rooms, shut their blinds and switch off the lights. College students know from energetic shooter drills methods to reply, she stated.

“However how can we take care of it afterwards?” she requested. “What’s it going to be like in per week, in a month?”


Seewer reported from Toledo, Ohio. Contributing to this report have been Related Press writers Ben Finley in Norfolk, Va.; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Va.; Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Md.; Hank Kurz in Charlottesville, Va.; Holly Ramer in Harmony, New Hampshire; and information researcher Rhonda Shafner; in addition to videojournalist Nathan Ellegren and photographer Steve Helber in Charlottesville.