Prior to the fatal shooting on Sunday night, the University of Virginia student who is accused of killing three members of the school’s football team allegedly told his father that some people had been “picking on him.”
In a Monday interview with NBC12, Christopher Darnell Jones Sr. detailed the events of his final chat with son Christopher Darnell Jones Jr.
“He had some problems the last time I talked to him. He said some people was picking on him or whatever, he didn’t know how to handle it, and I just told him don’t pay it any mind and just go to school,” Jones Sr. recalled.
“He was really paranoid when I talk to him about something, but he wouldn’t tell me everything. He was a very sensitive young man.”
About a month prior to Jones Jr. allegedly opening fire on a bus carrying football players who were travelling back to the Charlottesville campus after a field trip, the father and son had a conversation.
After a 12-hour manhunt, Jones Jr. was apprehended in Henrico on Monday morning, and three counts of second-degree murder were brought against him.
“I can’t believe it was him,” Jones Sr. said. “I still can’t believe it now.”
The distressed father claimed that when his son visited his home to do laundry, he seemed to be doing well and that was the last time he saw him.
“When we finally had a chance to talk, he said there were some people there who were giving him a hard time, but he still was upbeat, and he was positive,” Jones Sr. said. “I don’t know what happened between then and now to cause this to happen.”
The mother of the alleged shooter told NBC12 that nothing seemed out of the ordinary when she spoke to her son on Sunday, and he appeared eager to celebrate his 23rd birthday on Thursday.
He continued by saying that he wished his son had called him to talk about whatever was troubling him.
“Why did it have to get this far?” Jones Sr. questioned. “He could’ve called me… If he had called me Saturday, I think maybe I could have talked him out of some things, maybe, hopefully.”
He described his son, who is currently facing murder charges, as a person who was everyone’s friend and excelled in everything.
“He was everyone’s friend, everybody loved Chris, and he had a movie star smile he would flash,” he told the news station.
The three students killed in the shooting have been identified as Devin Chandler of Virginia Beach, Lavel “Tyler” Davis of Dorchester, South Carolina, and D’Sean Perry of Miami, Florida. Two more students were injured.
Jones Sr. said he feels awful for the victims and their families.
“I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry on his behalf, and I apologize. He’s not a bad kid. He really isn’t,” Jones Sr. said. “I just don’t know what happened. I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened to cause all of this.”
Jones Jr. is being held in the Henrico jail.