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3 people were fatally shot on the campus of the University of Virginia

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Police in Charlottesville continue their search for an armed man who opened fire on students at the University of Virginia. Three are dead. Two have been wounded. And the campus remains on lockdown. From member station WVTF, Sandy Hausman reports on this breaking story.

SANDY HAUSMAN, BYLINE: Even before text messages went out to students, sophomore Em Gunter and two friends knew something terrible was happening on campus. They could see the parking garage where the shooting took place from their dorm.

EM GUNTER: We figured out from hearing the original gunshots and listening to the police scanner that there was an active shooter before the university even told us.

HAUSMAN: The university's president sent an email confirming three people had died and two were being treated at UVA's Medical Center. Jim Ryan said he was heartbroken and devastated by this violence and promised plans for the community to grieve once the suspect, a 23-year-old student, had been arrested. Little is known about Christopher Darnell Jones, who had played football for UVA in 2018. Officers from the university, the city of Charlottesville, and two neighboring counties used a helicopter and dogs to search what they thought Jones might have driven away in, a black SUV with Virginia plates. Police released two photos of the suspect and provided a toll-free number for worried parents to call. But the line has been busy since that announcement went out. Earlier, they sent a text urging students in bold letters to run, hide and fight - advice that alarmed some. But Gunter said she was not surprised.

GUNTER: I know a lot of my friends were scared by that. But me personally, I know that's the advice. 'Cause, like, my generation, you know, going to high school, we had active shooter drills as kids when - 15 years ago when Tech happened. So that wasn't a thing.

HAUSMAN: Social media was filled with concern for the ongoing safety of area residents and demands for stricter gun control laws in Virginia and the nation. For NPR News, I'm Sandy Hausman in Charlottesville.

(SOUNDBITE OF KEITH KENNIFF'S "WHAT LASTS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sandy Hausman joined our news team in 2008 after honing her radio skills in Chicago. Since then, she's won several national awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Radio, Television and Digital News Association and the Public Radio News Directors' Association.