PINECREST, FLA. (WSVN) - A former South Florida football standout is among three students who were killed in a shooting at the University of Virginia that led to the arrest of another student.

D’Sean Perry, a graduate of Gulliver Prep in Pinecrest, was among the victims in Sunday night’s shooting on the Charlottesville campus.

Authorities said the shooting happened just after 10:15 p.m., as a charter bus full of students returned from seeing a play in Washington, D.C.

Two other students were injured in the shooting.

In a news conference Monday, UVA President Jim Ryan said the deceased victims were all members of the university’s football team.

“They were Devin Chandler, a second year [student] from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Lavel Davis Jr., a third year student from Ridgeville, South Carolina, and D’Sean Perry, a fourth year student from Miami, Florida,” said Ryan.

Perry was a linebacker for the Virginia Cavaliers. He graduated from Gulliver Prep in 2019.

Gulliver Prep senior Jack Stula said he remembers seeing Perry on campus.

“I didn’t know him personally. I knew about him from, like, today. I actually have seen him last year on school campus a couple of times,” he said, “but it’s just sad to hear that someone from our school had to end up like that.”

The suspect, identified as 22-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., was taken into custody following an hours-long manhunt. A current UVA student, Jones had once played on the football team, but had not been a member for at least a year, police said.

The campus was placed on lockdown overnight as police searched for the gunman. Officers were seen entering a parking garage with guns drawn.

UVA students sheltered in place for about 12 hours until the lockdown was lifted Monday morning. Classes were canceled on Monday.

Authorities said they do not yet have a “full understanding” of the motive or circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Jones is currently in the custody of the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office.

UVA Police Chief Timothy Longo said Jones faces several charges.

“We charged him with three counts of second-degree murder, and we charged him with three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony,” he said.

The suspect’s father was in disbelief.

“My heart goes out to the families. I don’t know what to say, except I’m sorry,” he said.

According to Perry’s bio page, he was named the South Florida Conference’s 2018 Defensive Player of the Year. During his senior year at Gulliver, he recorded 89 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, three sacks and three interceptions en route to an 8-4 record and a playoff berth in 2018.

Perry appeared in seven games this year for the Cavaliers and made seven tackles.

Pictures shared by Terry’s family captured how football played a central role in the 22-year-old’s life.

While his loved ones mourn privately n South Florida, hundreds turned out for a memorial on the Charlottesville campus.

The Haggard Law Firm, representing the Perry family, sent 7News a statement that reads in part:

“On behalf of D’Sean’s parents, Happy and Sean Perry, and their entire family, we thank the South Florida and Charlottesville communities for the outpouring of support during this impossibly tragic time.

Right now, Happy and Sean will not speak publicly about the incident as their grief is only beginning, and out of respect for the University of Virginia community which has been terrorized by another mass shooting in the United States.”

Monday afternoon, as students and faculty at Gulliver Prep try to process the tragedy, the school’s president, Cliff King, described Perry as a role model.

“Very much a part of our community, mentoring students, both in the classroom and on the football field, and so, that is very much a part of the loss that we’re feeling, because of how involved he continued to remain in Gulliver, even after his graduation,” he said.

In a statement, UVA’s head football coach Tony Elliot wrote, “They touched us, inspired us and worked incredibly hard as representatives of our program, university and community. Rest in peace, young men.”

The University of Miami’s head football coach, Mario Cristobal, offered condolences to the victims’ families.

“Thoughts and prayers to everyone in Charlottesville. Unspeakable,” he said. “Everyone that knows their families or doesn’t know their families but is associated with the conference, with college football, sports life in general needs to do everything possible to support them, because what they’re going through is like nothing we could ever imagine or ever hope for or wish for upon anybody.”

Dan Radakovich, director of athletics at UM, tweeted the following statement.

The father of one of the survivors, Michael Hollins Jr., told The Washington Post that his son was shot in the back, but doctors said he will recover.

The Cavaliers have two more games scheduled for this season. It remains unclear whether or not they will move forward.

Copyright 2024 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox