'He is not a bad kid': Dad of UVA suspect Christopher Darnell Jones says people were 'picking on' his son
'He said there were some people there who were giving him a hard time, but he still was upbeat, and he was positive,' Christopher Darnell Jones Sr told about his son
HENRICO, VIRGINIA: Prior to the fatal shooting at University of Virginia on November 13, suspect Christopher Darnell Jones Jr told his father that some people had been "picking on him." Jones Jr was arrested after he shot dead three of the school's football players and injured two others.
During an interview with NBC12, Christopher Darnell Jones Sr revealed specifics of his final discussion with his son. “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.” According to Jones Sr, the father and son had the conversation about a month before Jones Jr allegedly shot the football players on a bus while returning to the Charlottesville campus from a field trip.
Jones Jr was apprehended in Henrico on November 14 after a 12-hour manhunt and 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 he last saw his son when he visited his home to do laundry and that he appeared to be doing well at the time. “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.” When she spoke to her son on Sunday, the mother of the alleged shooter told NBC12, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and he sounded eager to celebrate his 23rd birthday on Thursday.
Additionally, he said he hoped his son had phoned 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 portrayed his now-accused murderer son as a person who had everyone's friendship and was exceptional in everything. “He was everyone’s friend, everybody loved Chris, and he had a movie star smile he would flash,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Lavel "Tyler" Davis of Dorchester, South Carolina, Devin Chandler of Virginia Beach and D'Sean Perry of Miami, Florida were the three students who were killed in the incident. Two additional pupils suffered injuries. Jones Sr expressed his sorrow 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.”