DC theater UVA victims visited issues heartfelt statement

Hours before tragedy struck the University of Virginia campus this week, the students involved enjoyed a class field trip to a D.C. theater. 

On Sunday, D'Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, Michael Hollins Jr., and several of their peers saw the Mosaic Theater's production of "The Ballad of Emmett Till" at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The venue is located on H Street in Northeast. 

The theater company sent FOX 5 a heartfelt statement regarding the event that occurred on the bus ride home, which has left the entire UVA community shaken.  

"Our hearts go out to the victims' families, the University of Virginia community, and the students and teachers involved in this incident, who are navigating unimaginable loss," the statement reads. "Welcoming young people to the theater is a core part of our mission, as is ensuring the safety of our artists and audience. We are an organization committed to building connection and community through the arts and we will continue this work in honor of the lives lost in this tragedy."

D'Sean Perry (l) Lavel Davis Jr. (c) Devin Chandler (r)

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After the showing, authorities believe Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. opened fire inside a charter bus on campus late Sunday night killing the three members of the football team (Perry, Davis Jr., Chandler) and injuring two others (Hollins Jr. and Marlee Morgan, a female student). 

The shooting triggered a massive manhunt and paralyzed the school community overnight as police conducted a building-by-building and grounds search of the campus and put a shelter-in-place order in effect. 

UVA has since received an outpouring of condolences, prayers, and well-wishes from across the nation. There is a growing memorial outside the Scott Stadium with flowers, bears and notes for Davis Jr., Chandler and Perry.

The 22-year-old gunman had a court hearing Wednesday where prosecutors revealed more information about the incident. He did not enter a plea to the numerous charges he faces and said he plans to hire an attorney. A judge ordered him held without bond and appointed a public defender to represent him until he secures private counsel.