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UVA Agrees to $9 Million Settlement Over Shooting Incident That Left 3 Football Players Dead, 2 Students Injured


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A lawyer for some of the victims and their families said Friday that the University of Virginia will pay $9 million in a deal over a shooting on campus in 2022 that killed three football players and hurt two students.

But some families want more: The release right away of an independent report that looked into the killing and was finished last year. It looked at what the university did to figure out how dangerous the student who was later charged with murder might have been and what suggestions were made based on what they found.

An attorney for some of the families, Kimberly Wald, said that the university should have taken the accused shooter off campus before the attack because he was acting in a lot of strange and unstable ways.

Wald, a lawyer with the Miami-based Haggard Law Firm, said, “This settlement today is just one small step for these families. There is much work to be done.” “If that report has even one lesson for us, we need to know it now…” We need to keep people safe right now.

University officials put off releasing the report last year because they were afraid it might affect the trial of the accused shooter that was coming up.

Last fall, UVA President Jim Ryan said, “We are committed to providing it as soon as we can be sure that doing so will not in any way interfere with the criminal proceeding.”

Wald, who is representing D’Sean Perry’s estate, said that the school in Charlottesville will give each of the families of the three students who died $2 million. This is the most that Virginia law allows. Besides them, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. also died.

The two students who were hurt, Mike Hollins (a fourth member of the football team) and Marlee Morgan (who Wald also represents), will each get $3 million from the university.

Wald said that the settlement was reached outside of court and not after a case was filed. But in Virginia, every deal has to be okay with a judge. In Albemarle County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon, the judge agreed to the deal with UVA.

The university said in a statement that Virginia Gov. Glenn Younkin and state Attorney General Jason Miyares also agreed to the deals.

“Their lives were tragically cut short,” UVA Rector Robert Hardie and President Ryan said in a statement Friday. The young men “have been ever present in our minds.”

The statement said, “We will always remember the effect Devin, Lavel, and D’Sean had on our community, and we are grateful for the times they spent with us uplifting UVA in the classroom and on the football field.”

Police said the killing was done by Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a student at UVA who used to play football for the school. Police say it happened as he and some other students rode a charter bus back to school from a field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C.

When fighting broke out near a parking garage, the school was locked down for 12 hours until the suspect was caught. He is going to be tried for murder and other charges in January.

A few days after the shooting, university leaders asked for an outside review of UVA’s safety policies and procedures, as well as its reaction to the violence and earlier attempts to figure out how dangerous the student who was later charged might have been. Officials from the school said that the university’s danger assessment team had been aware of him in the past.

UVA said the study would be made public in November after it was finished in October. But UVA changed its mind because they were worried about how it would affect Jones’ trial.

Happy Perry, who lost her son D’Sean Perry, said on Friday that the report should be made public right away if it can help stop more shootings like the one that happened.

“I want to know what happened because I’m a mom.” “I have the right to know what happened,” she told reporters on a Zoom call. “Getting that report at this point is important for public safety and national security.”

Brenda Hollins, whose son Mike Hollins was shot and hurt, said Friday that the deal made her feel a lot of different things. She also talked about how all the families are hurt and changed.

“You smile, and you might be able to move forward during the day,” Hollins told the person on the Zoom call. “But then it sneaks up on you.” And it takes over your life if you don’t deal with it right away.

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