A student gunman was still on the loose after fatally shooting three people and injuring two others in a garage on the University of Virginia campus late Sunday night, said authorities . University officials urged people on the Charlottesville campus to seek shelter.
It was unclear whether the victims were students or not.
University's office of emergency management received reports of shots fired
Around 10.30 pm on Sunday, the university's office of emergency management received reports of shots fired at a garage on Culbreth Road. The gunman was identified as Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. by the University of Virginia Police Department, who the university president said in an email to the campus was a student.
Jones was "armed and dangerous," according to university police. They stated that several law enforcement agencies were assisting in the search for Mr. Jones, and that the Virginia State Police had deployed helicopters as part of the effort.
Classes would be cancelled on Monday
Jim Ryan, the university president, informed the campus in an email sent early Monday that classes would be cancelled on Monday.
"I am heartbroken to report that the shooting has resulted in three fatalities; two additional victims were injured and are receiving medical care," Ryan wrote.
Working closely with the victims' families
"We are working closely with the victims' families and will provide additional information as soon as we are able."
"This is a message that no leader wants to send," he continued, "and I am devastated that this violence has visited the University of Virginia."
Police described Jones as wearing a burgundy jacket, bluejeans, red shoes, and possibly driving a black sport-utility vehicle. They urged those on campus's family and friends to call an emergency hotline for more information about the incident.
Robyn S. Hadley, the university's dean of students, sent an email to the student body around 1:18 a.m., urging students to "Please, please take the shelter in place commands seriously as the situation remains active."
Jones was one-time member of the university's football team
Jones was listed as a one-time member of the university's football team on its athletics website; the website listed him as a freshman member of the team who did not appear in any games in 2018.
The university's spokesman provided the email sent by the president, but did not immediately respond to additional questions from The New York Times.