Just Before UVa Bus Shooting, Players Went to Use Bathroom

Suspect allegedly yelled about football players 'messing with' him before opening fire
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2022 12:40 AM CST
Updated Nov 16, 2022 6:41 AM CST
Just Before UVa Bus Shooting, Players Went to Use Bathroom
Students and community members gather for a candlelight vigil after a shooting that left three students dead the night before at the University of Virginia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va.   (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Moments before gunfire rang out on a bus chartered by the University of Virginia for a field trip Sunday, three of the school's football players walked to the back of the bus to use the restroom, a 19-year-old second-year who was on the trip tells the Washington Post. Ryan Lynch also tells KYW (via WTVR) that before he allegedly began shooting, the suspect pushed one of the victims and then "was like 'You guys are always messing with me.' He said something like that but it was really bizarre because they didn't talk to him the whole trip." The suspect, accused of killing three football players, injuring one of their teammates, and injuring another female student who was on the bus, was not in the African-American playwrights class for whom the field trip had been planned, and did not know most of the people on the bus.

Rather, he was in another class with the same professor, who invited her other students along on the trip to see a play about Emmett Till in Washington, DC. Lynch says the "powerful" play turned the trip into "a real bonding experience," and everyone seemed to be having fun on the ride back to campus. Mike Hollins, the football player who was shot but survived, told his dad the suspect asked one of his teammates about a video game before he started shooting. But a motive remains unclear, and Lynch says she keeps replaying the final moments of fun before she lost three of her friends, trying to figure out what happened. Meanwhile, Hollins' mom tells CBS News that her son, who reportedly escaped the bus unharmed only to go back in for his friends and get shot, does not yet know Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D'Sean Perry died.

"He can't talk, but he has written D'Sean's name," she says. "He has written Devin's name. And then I believe it was an L—I don't know what he was writing at the bottom, but he was taking the marker and beating on it because he wants to know." The suspect, himself a onetime member of UVa's football team, could be arraigned as early as Wednesday on second-degree murder charges, and could also face federal charges if he brought a firearm into the nation's capital. Hollins' mom says she was told the suspect may have been targeting football players, the New York Post reports. The suspect's father tells WTVR that when he last saw his son, he was acting "paranoid" about something going on at school. "He said some people were picking on him or whatever, he didn’t know how to handle it." (More University of Virginia stories.)

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