Linebacker D’Sean Perry, a Miami native, among 3 killed in U. of Virginia shooting

Victim was standout at Gulliver Prep

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A University of Virginia football player from South Florida was one of three people killed in a shooting on the campus Sunday.

D’Sean Perry, originally from Miami, was identified as a victim at a news conference Monday, Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA reports.

Perry was a standout linebacker and defensive end at Gulliver Prep in Pinecrest and was named the South Florida Conference’s 2018 Defensive Player of the Year, according to his official biography.

The other two victims, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr., also played for the school’s football team, the station reports.

Two others were wounded in the shooting, which happened on a bus full of students who were returning from an off-campus trip.

Speaking on behalf of the Perry family, Michael Haggard, managing partner of the Haggard Law Firm, said “D’Sean’s parents, Happy and Sean Perry, and their entire family...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,” Haggard said.

Perry’s murder also sent shockwaves throughout South Florida’s sports community.

“Everyone is grieving for them, our hearts are grieving,” Miami Hurricanes head football coach Mario Cristobal said.

Gulliver Prep President Cliff Kling said Monday that Perry, known as a standout student, athlete and artist, “had a smile that would light up a room.”

Kling said Perry, who was majoring in Studio Art at UVA, won his admiration for his ceramics project at a 2018 spring art show.

“Talking to him at the art show felt like I had known him forever,” Kling said. “After you had an encounter with him, you were better for it. He was a bright mind, caring heart.”

Kling said after Perry graduated in 2019, he would return to campus to mentor students both in the classroom and on the football field.

Suspect Christopher Darnell Jones, Jr. was taken into custody Monday, officials announced shortly after they identified the victims.

Officials said Jones was a student at the university and was listed as a member of the school’s football team in 2018, WJLA reports.

Police haven’t revealed a motive for the shooting.

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.