Virginia AG announces creation of special counsel for UVA shooting

University of Virginia-Shooting
A Virginia State Police crime scene investigation truck is on the scene of an overnight shooting at the University of Virginia, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Charlottesville. Va. Steve Helber/AP

Virginia AG announces creation of special counsel for UVA shooting

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Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) announced the creation of a special counsel to examine and assess the lead-up and response to the deadly shooting at the University of Virginia that left three students dead and wounded two others.

Miyares made the decision in response to a Thursday request by UVA officials, who wanted a special counsel appointed in order to review the university’s response and recommend any policies that could prevent future tragedies. In their letter to Miyares, the university justified their request by stating their belief that many questions will remain unanswered throughout the criminal proceedings without one.

UVA SHOOTING SURVIVOR MIKE HOLLINS IS WALKING, OUT OF INTENSIVE CARE UNIT

“We write today to request that you exercise your authority under Virginia law to appoint outside special counsel with expertise in these matters to conduct an independent review of the University’s response to the shooting, as well as the efforts the University undertook in the period before the tragedy to assess the potential threat Mr. Jones posed to our community,” the letter reads, referring to the shooter. “Finally, we request that the special counsel review all relevant University policies and procedures and make recommendations if opportunities for improvement or needs for change are identified.”

Victoria LaCivita, a spokeswoman for Miyares, told the Hill that the attorney general’s office will work with urgency to appoint the counsel and assist in the investigation.

“The Attorney General will work with deliberate speed while ensuring that all necessary resources remain devoted to the criminal investigation being conducted by state and local authorities,” LaCivita said in a statement.

She added that the final report will be made public.

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On Sunday, UVA football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. allegedly shot five of his fellow players, killing three, on a school bus as they were being taken back to campus. He was arrested after a 12-hour manhunt and now faces three charges of second-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and two charges of malicious wounding.

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