CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The suspect in the shooting rampage that left three University of Virginia students dead and two others wounded was ordered held without bond Wednesday during a videoconference in Albemarle District Court.

The eight charges against Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., including three for second-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony, were read aloud by Judge Kenneth Andrew Sneathern.

Jones was not asked to enter a plea and has been given until his next court appearance on Dec. 8 to hire legal counsel. A public defender has been appointed in the interim.

Prosecutors said in the hearing that a witness on the bus where the shootings took place identified him to investigators.

The witness told authorities he or she saw Jones point a gun at Devin Chandler and shoot him while he was sleeping, prosecutors said. Chandler was among those who died. The shootings were targeted, not random, the witnesses reportedly said.

Jones’ criminal history was read aloud in the courtroom, including an arrest Feb. 22, 2021, on a concealed weapons charge and a separate charge for hit-and-run/reckless driving, both of which resulted in suspended sentences.

Jones, a former player on the school’s football team, was one of about two dozen students who traveled by bus on a class field trip to Washington, D.C. He is accused of opening fire as the bus returned to campus.

Jones was arrested Monday in Henrico County, Virginia, near Richmond. The University of Virginia’s campus was under lockdown for 12 hours as police searched for the shooter.

Authorities have not determined a motive for the attack.

PREVIOUS UPDATES:Suspect was on field trip with victims

Other developments: 

►UVA students returned to their class schedules Wednesday after two days without classes.

►The UVA home football game scheduled for Saturday against Coastal Carolina was canceled Wednesday. The school said a decision on whether the team will play its final game of the season Nov. 26 against archrival Virginia Tech in Blacksburg has not been made.

►The Atlantic Coast Conference said a moment of silence will be observed before league football games this weekend and all its players will wear a helmet decal in support of UVA. 

Suspect twice failed background checks while trying to buy guns

Jones purchased two firearms from a sporting goods store in the Petersburg, Virginia, area earlier this year, but it remains unclear whether either of them was used in the shooting. The store owner said in an email to The Progress-Index, a member of the USA TODAY Network, that Jones tried to purchase weapons on two other occasions, once in 2018 and again last year. He failed both background checks and did not obtain the weapons.