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Attorney general appoints law firm to lead external review of Nov. 13 UVA shooting

Chris Graham
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The white shoe law firm Quinn Emanuel will conduct the external review of the events surrounding the Nov. 13 mass shooting at the University of Virginia that killed three football student-athletes and left two others wounded.

William Burck and Crystal Nix-Hines, who co-chair the firm’s Crisis Law and Strategy Group, will lead the review.

Zachary Terwilliger, a UVA alum, and the former US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, will serve as special counsel for related federal, state and local law enforcement issues surrounding the tragic incident.

The Virginia State Police continues to conduct a separate criminal investigation into the Nov. 13 shooting, in coordination with the University of Virginia Police Department.

The shooting took the lives of football student-athletes Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry.

A fourth football student-athlete, Mike Hollins, suffered life-threatening injuries, but is recovering and working toward a goal of playing football again next year.

A fifth UVA student, Marlee Morgan, is recovering from her injuries after being in the hospital for treatment of her gunshot wounds.

The alleged shooter is also a UVA student, Chris Jones, 23, who faces three second-degree murder charges, among a slew of charges from the incident.

An Albemarle County General District Court judge has scheduled a preliminary hearing in his case for March 30, 2023.

“I have full confidence that Mr. Burck, Ms. Nix-Hines and Mr. Terwilliger will conduct the thorough and professional external review requested by the University of Virginia,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said. “Understandably, there are many questions about the events that led to the tragedy at the University of Virginia. At the appropriate time, a report will be released to the public to help answer those questions.”

UVA President Jim Ryan and University Rector Whitt Clement made a request to Miyares on Nov. 17 to initiate the external review and identify special counsel to conduct it.

“I’d like to thank Attorney General Miyares for agreeing to oversee the external review into this terrible tragedy and for identifying a team of experts to lead it,” Ryan said. “As we continue to mourn the loss of Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry, we are committed to working with the special counsel team to learn as much as we can about this event and the circumstances that led to it, and to apply those lessons to keep our community safe.”

“Today’s appointment of special counsel to conduct an external review is an important step toward answering the many questions about this event and the approach the University took leading up to it,” Clement said. “As this process moves forward, we are committed to developing a comprehensive understanding of this event, to sharing a report with a public who want answers as much as we do, and to continuing to refine our policies and procedures to keep our community safe.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].