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Suspect caught in fatal shooting of 3 U.Va. football players

Source image: https://apnews.com/article/university-of-virginia-shooting-live-updates-4cd9f0a64201d2460de887674fdfa02b

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A University of Virginia student and former member of the school’s football team fatally shot three current players as they returned from a field trip, authorities said, setting off panic and a 12-hour lockdown of the campus until the suspect was captured Monday.

Students who were told to shelter in place beginning late Sunday described terrifying hours in hiding. While police searched for the gunman through the night, students sought safety in closets, dorm rooms, libraries and apartments. They listened to police scanners and tried to remember everything they were taught as children during active-shooter drills.

“I think all of us were just really unsettled and trying to keep, you know, our cool and level heads during the situation,” student Shannon Lake said.

Officials got word during a morning news briefing that the suspect, 22-year-old Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., had been arrested.

“Just give me a moment to thank God, breathe a sigh of relief,” university Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. said after learning Jones was in custody.

The violence erupted near a parking garage just after 10:15 p.m. Sunday as a charter bus full of students returned to Charlottesville from seeing a play in Washington.

University President Jim Ryan said authorities did not have a “full understanding” of the motive or circumstances of the shooting.

“The entire university community is grieving this morning,” a visibly strained Ryan said.

The killings happened at a time when the nation is on edge from a string of mass shootings during the last six months, including an attack that killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas; a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb that killed seven people and wounded more than 30; and a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that killed 10 people and wounded three.

Lake, a third-year student from Crozet, Virginia, ended up spending the night with friends in a lab room, much of the time in a storage closet.

Elizabeth Paul, a student from northern Virginia, was working at a computer in the library when she got a call from her mom, who had received word about the shooting.

Paul said she initially brushed off any concern, thinking it was probably something minor. She realized she needed to take it seriously when her computer lit up with a warning about an active shooter.

“I think it said, ‘Run. Hide. Fight,’” she said.

Paul said she stayed huddled with several others in the library. She spent most of the night on the phone with her mom.

“Not even talking to her the whole time necessarily, but she wanted the line to be on so that if I needed something she was there,” she said.

Ryan identified the three slain students as Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry.

Two students were wounded and hospitalized, Ryan said.

Mike Hollins, a running back on the football team, was in stable condition Monday, his mother, Brenda Hollins, told The Associated Press.

“Mike is a fighter — and he’s showing it,” she said after flying to Virginia from Louisiana. “We have great doctors who have been working with him. And most importantly, we have God’s grace and God’s hands on him.”

The shooting touched off an intense manhunt that included a building-by-building search of the campus. The lockdown order was lifted late Monday morning.

Jones was taken into custody without incident in suburban Richmond, police said.

The arrest warrants for Jones charged him with three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, Longo said.

It was not immediately clear whether Jones had an attorney or when he would make his first court appearance.

His father, Chris Jones Sr., told Richmond TV station WTVR he was in disbelief after getting a call from police on Monday.

“My heart goes out to their families. I don’t know what to say, except I’m sorry, on his behalf, and I apologize,” he said.

Jones had once been on the football team, but he had not been part of the team for at least a year, Longo said. The UVA football website listed him as a team member during the 2018 season and said he did not play in any games.

Hours after Jones was arrested, first-year head football coach Tony Elliott sat alone outside the athletic building used by the team, at times with his head in his hands. He said the victims “were all good kids.”

“These precious young men were called away too soon. We are all fortunate to have them be a part of our lives. They touched us, inspired us and worked incredibly hard as representatives of our program, university and community,” he said in a statement.

Jones came to the attention of the university’s threat-assessment team this fall after a person unaffiliated with the school reported a remark Jones apparently made about possessing a gun, Longo said.

No threat was reported in conjunction with the concern about the weapon, but officials looked into it, following up with Jones’ roommate.

Longo also said Jones had been involved in a “hazing investigation of some sort.” He said he did not have all the facts and circumstances of that case, though he said the probe was closed after witnesses failed to cooperate.

In addition, officials learned about a prior incident outside Charlottesville involving a weapons violation, Longo said. That incident was not reported to the university as it should have been, he said.

Em Gunter, a second-year anthropology student, heard three gunshots and then three more while she was studying genetics in her dorm room.

She knew right away there was an active shooter outside and told others to go in their rooms, shut their blinds and turn off the lights. For the next 12 hours, she stayed in her room with a friend, listening to a police scanner and messaging her family and friends who were stuck in other areas of the campus.

Students know from active shooter drills how to respond, she said.

“But how do we deal with it afterwards?” she asked. “What’s it going to be like in a week, in a month?”

Eva Surovell, the editor in chief of the student newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, noted that her generation grew up with “generalized gun violence.”

“But that doesn’t make it any easier when it’s your own community,” she said.

Classes and other academic activities were canceled for Tuesday. An impromptu vigil drew a large crowd Monday night, and a university-wide vigil was being planned for a later date. Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered flags lowered to half-staff on Tuesday in respect and memory of the victims, their families and the Charlottesville community.

Scores of worshippers gathered Monday evening on campus at St. Paul’s Memorial Church for a prayer service.

“Have pity on us and all who mourn for Devin, Lavel and D’Sean, innocent people slaughtered by the violence of our fallen world,” an officiant said in prayer.

Elsewhere, police in Moscow, Idaho, were investigating the deaths of four University of Idaho students found Sunday in a home near the campus. Authorities released few details, except to say that the deaths were labeled homicides.

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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Ben Finley in Norfolk, Va.; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Va.; Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Md.; John Seewer in Toledo, Ohio; Hank Kurz in Charlottesville, Va.; Holly Ramer in Concord, New Hampshire; and news researcher Rhonda Shafner; as well as videojournalist Nathan Ellegren and photographer Steve Helber in Charlottesville.

Source: https://apnews.com/article/university-of-virginia-shooting-live-updates-4cd9f0a64201d2460de887674fdfa02b

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Tokyo Olympic official, 3 others held in bid-rigging probe

TOKYO (AP) — A senior official with the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee and three company executives were arrested Wednesday in an ongoing bid-rigging scandal related to the Games.

Yasuo Mori, the Olympic official, was arrested along with Koji Henmi, who headed the sports division at Japanese advertising giant Dentsu. Two other business executives were also arrested on charges of violating anti-monopoly laws, the Tokyo District Prosecutors said in a statement.

Prosecutors have also been investigating a separate bribery scandal centered around former Dentsu executive Haruyuki Takahashi, who was a member of the organizing committee.

The bid-rigging probe in general involves the choice of venues for Olympic test events as well as for the actual Games. It is a joint operation of the Japan Fair Trade Commission, which looks at violations of anti-monopoly laws.

Prosecutors said the officials secretly agreed on the bids in 2018.

Some of the contracts had only one bidder, according to Japanese media reports. Prosecutors say the bid-rigging scandal arrests have just begun and could embroil more companies.

Upon conviction of violation of anti-monopoly laws, individuals can be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

The sprawling corruption allegations surrounding Tokyo have caused the bid by the northern Japanese city of Sapporo for the 2030 Winter Games to be placed “on hold.” Sapporo was considered the favorite before the scandal.

Salt Lake City is the only other known bidder that might consider taking 2030. Salt Lake officials have said they favor a bid for 2034.

The Tokyo Games were postponed for a year and held in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The official price tag is $13 billion, though a government audit suggests it might be twice that much.

Takahashi and officials at several other companies were earlier arrested in the bribery scandal. Plans for those trials are beginning. Takahashi was released on bail after being held for several months.

Among the companies embroiled in the scandal involving Takahashi are Aoki Holdings, a clothing company that dressed Japan’s Olympic team; Sun Arrow, which produced the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic mascots named Miraitowa and Someity; and Kadokawa Group, the publisher of the Games program and guidebooks.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Jessica Pegula reveals her mother Kim Pegula’s health crisis

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Pro tennis player Jessica Pegula has revealed that her mother, Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres co-owner and president Kim Pegula, went into cardiac arrest in June and is still recovering while dealing with significant language and memory issues.

In an essay that The Players’ Tribune published Tuesday, Jessica Pegula detailed for the first time the medical crisis that abruptly removed her mother from the public eye and suggested that her mother may not resume the same level of involvement in the family’s sports franchises.

Kim Pegula, she wrote, went into cardiac arrest while sleeping and received lifesaving CPR from another daughter until paramedics arrived and restored her heartbeat. The family previously said only that Kim Pegula was receiving medical care for “some unexpected health issues” that arose shortly after she celebrated her 53rd birthday.

“My mom is working hard in her recovery, she is improving, but where she ends up is still unknown,” Jessica Pegula, 28, wrote.

She said she decided to write about her mother’s ordeal after Bills player Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field during a Jan. 2 game in Cincinnati in what Pegula described as “some bizarre, messed-up, full circle moment.”

“My stomach sunk because it felt like the exact same thing all over again. I was sitting on the bench for a tennis event in Sydney, Australia. I wanted to throw up,” wrote Jessica Pegula, who is No. 4 in the WTA’s singles rankings. “I was supposed to go on for mixed doubles in 15 minutes and I remember telling one of my teammates, `I am a little freaked out right now, this is too close to home, and I feel like I am going to have a panic attack.’”

As Hamlin began his recovery, Jessica Pegula joined in an outpouring of support from fans and the NFL and wore a white screen-printed patch with Hamlin’s uniform number while playing at the Australian Open. “It didn’t feel like it was just for him, it felt like it was for my mom as well,” she said.

Jessica Pegula had been home in Florida months earlier when she got a call from her sister, Kelly, around midnight on their mother’s birthday and learned that their mother was being rushed to the hospital.

“My mom was asleep when my dad woke up to her going into cardiac arrest and she was unresponsive for quite a while,” she wrote. Kelly Pegula, who was staying with their parents, performed CPR — just three months after telling her family that she planned to become certified in the procedure for a job.

“I remember her telling us what she was doing in our family group chat,” Jessica Pegula wrote, “and my mom even responded, `Nice Kells! Now if we have a heart attack you can revive us.’”

Today, Kim Pegula “can read, write, and understand pretty well, but she has trouble finding the words to respond,” Jessica Pegula wrote. “It is hard to deal with and it takes a lot of patience to communicate with her, but I thank God every day that we can still communicate with her at all. The doctors continue to be blown away by her recovery, considering where she started, and her determination is the driving force of that.”

As the first woman to serve as president of an NHL and NFL team at the same time, Kim Pegula “lived it and loved it, and it was felt by everyone she met,” Jessica Pegula wrote. “Now we come to the realization that all of that is most likely gone. That she won’t be able to be that person anymore.”

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Mat Ishbia to AP: Suns ‘will be one of best places to work’

Mat Ishbia said his first major project as owner of the Phoenix Suns will be to listen to employees and figure out what problems they’ve faced.

After that, he’ll start fixing.

The tenure of embattled Robert Sarver as owner of the NBA’s Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury officially ended Tuesday, when Ishbia — the chairman, president and chief executive of United Wholesale Mortgage, plus a member of Michigan State’s NCAA championship team in 2000 — took over. He will be governor, while his brother, Justin Ishbia, will be alternate governor.

Justin Ishbia will be the team’s second-largest shareholder, behind his brother. They acquired more than 50% of the franchise, which includes all of what was Sarver’s stake as well as some holdings of minority partners, and the sale valued the Suns and Mercury at $4 billion.

“I’m going to spend a lot of time listening and learning, then make the adjustments to make this not only one of the best organizations in the NBA but also one of the best places to work,” Mat Ishbia told The Associated Press. “That’s a huge part of my success here in Michigan and it will be a big part of our success now in Phoenix. I don’t have enough information to know what exactly it’s been like, but I will dig in and roll up my sleeves and figure it out over the next three, four, five months-plus.”

The 43-year-old Ishbia was announced as the owner-in-waiting of the Suns on Dec. 20, and the last hurdle before the purchase became official was cleared Monday night when it was revealed that the NBA’s board of governors approved him as the next owner.

The transaction was completed Tuesday. Ishbia will hold a news conference in Phoenix on Wednesday.

Sarver was suspended for one year by the NBA in mid-September after an investigation found he engaged in workplace misconduct that included racist speech and hostile behavior toward employees. About a week after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the suspension and $10 million fine — the most allowed by league rule – Sarver said he would start the process of finding a buyer.

Ishbia’s name had been linked to other potential sales of pro sports teams in the past, including the NFL’s Washington Commanders. And the self-described basketball nut jumped quickly to acquire the Suns and Mercury.

“This is what I wanted the whole time,” Ishbia said. “My name got linked to a lot of things. That doesn’t mean it was actually necessarily right. The Phoenix Suns, in my opinion, is one of the elite franchises in one of the elite cities in America. To have a chance to be one of the owners of the Suns and Phoenix Mercury is a dream come true.”

Ishbia’s company, UWM, employs about 7,000 people. It had over $226.5 billion in mortgage originations in 2021, which the company says is a record for wholesale volume.

“We’re all about culture,” Ishbia said. “We’re all about people. We’re all about the word ‘team.’ It’s almost like a match made in heaven — the city, the location, the NBA, my love of basketball. And I can come in, take some of the really good things they’re doing but maybe make some changes from a culture perspective.”

There is one immediate order of business: The NBA trade deadline is Thursday.

The Suns — who went to the NBA Finals in 2021, losing a 2-0 lead and falling to Milwaukee in six games, had the best regular-season record in the league last season — are in a muddled Western Conference playoff race this season.

Ishbia said he and team president of basketball operations James Jones, who is also the general manager, have talked and will keep talking while Jones gauges the market to see what moves, if any, are right for the Suns.

“We’ve got to make sure we put ourselves in a great position,” Ishbia said. “I think we have an amazing team and I think we’re in a great position right now. Will I be involved? Yes. Are we highly active? Yes. But at the same time, I think we have a championship-contending team without doing anything over the next two days.”

Ishbia played for Tom Izzo at Michigan State, and he got into the 2000 title game against Florida at the end. He knew he was out of bounds when he picked up a loose ball in the final moments, but no referee blew the whistle. Sensing opportunity, Ishbia tried a reverse layup at the buzzer; it missed, but he celebrated anyway.

He senses another opportunity now.

“For me, this is a lifelong dream,” he said.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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