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UVA to Compensate Families of 2022 Shooting That Killed 3 Football Players and Injured 2 Others

UVA to Compensate Families of 2022 Shooting That Killed 3 Football Players and Injured 2 Others

UVA to Compensate Families of 2022 Shooting That Killed 3 Football Players and Injured 2 Others. The University of Virginia has agreed to pay $9 million to settle with the families of the victims of a 2022 campus shooting that killed three football players and wounded two other students. The settlement includes $2 million each for the families of the deceased victims, D’Sean Perry, Devin Chandler, and Lavel Davis Jr., and $1.5 million for the two wounded students, Mike Hollins and Marlee Morgan.

While the settlement is a step towards closure, some families are still seeking the release of an independent investigation into the shooting, which was completed last year but has not been made public due to concerns about impacting the suspect’s upcoming trial. The university has committed to releasing the report as soon as possible, but families are demanding its immediate release to learn from the tragedy and prevent similar incidents in the future.

The shooting occurred on November 13, 2022, when Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a former football player and student at the university, opened fire on a charter bus returning from a field trip, killing three and wounding two. The incident sparked a 12-hour lockdown of the campus and a nationwide outcry over gun violence.

The settlement was negotiated outside of court and did not follow the filing of a lawsuit, according to attorney Kimberly Wald, who represents some of the families. The agreements were approved by a judge in Albemarle County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon, as well as by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares.

In a statement, UVA Rector Robert Hardie and President Jim Ryan said, “The lives of Devin, Lavel, and D’Sean were tragically cut short, and these victims have been ever present in our minds.” They added, “We will forever remember the impact that Devin, Lavel, and D’Sean had on our community, and we are grateful for the moments they spent in our presence uplifting UVA through their time in the classroom and on the football field.”

“We are committed to providing it as soon as we can be sure that doing so will not interfere in any way with the criminal proceeding,” UVA President Jim Ryan said at the time.

However, some families are still seeking answers and justice. Happy Perry, the mother of D’Sean Perry, said Friday that the report should be released now if it can help prevent similar shootings. “As a mom, I want to know what happened. It is my right to know what happened,” she said. “At this point, it is an issue of public safety and national security that we get that report.”

Brenda Hollins, the mother of Mike Hollins, expressed mixed emotions about the settlement. “You put on your smile, and throughout the day you may be able to move forward,” she said. “But then it just creeps up on you. And if you do not address it at that moment, then it consumes you.”

The university initially said the report would be released in November, but later changed its stance due to concerns about affecting the suspect’s trial. Jones Jr. has a trial scheduled for January on charges of murder and other offenses related to the shooting.

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Written by Darnell Simmons

Investigative Journalist, social analysis