Richmond: 2 Killed, 5 Hurt in Shooting Outside Huguenot High Graduation Ceremony
Among those killed is an 18-year-old Huguenot High School student who had just graduated.
RICHMOND, Va. — Seven people were shot, two fatally, after a gunman opened fire Tuesday night in Monroe Park following Huguenot High School’s graduation ceremony at Richmond’s Altria Theater.
Richmond Public Schools (RPS) Superintendent Jason Kamras said the ceremony had just ended and graduates were outside taking photos with their families when shots rang out just before 5:15 p.m., reports AP News. Three off-duty officers who were working security radioed a call of shots fired and other officers who were working traffic duty responded.
A 19-year-old suspect tried to flee on foot but was detained and arrested by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) police. Altria Theater is located across the street from Monroe Park, which is in the middle of the VCU campus. The suspect is now facing two second-degree murder charges, according to Richmond Interim Police Chief Rick Edwards.
The victims have been identified as 18-year-old Shawn Jackson and his father, 36-year-old Renzo Smith, according to WTVR. Jackson had just participated in the ceremony. A 31-year-old gunshot victim still had life-threatening injuries as of Tuesday night. Four other male victims, ages 14, 32, 55, and 58, suffered gunshot wounds that were not considered life-threatening.
As bystanders started running, Jackson’s nine-year-old sister was hit by a car. She was treated at the scene before being taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two other people were treated for falls and nine others were treated for anxiety and minor injuries.
“We had hundreds of people in Monroe Park, so people scattered,” said Edwards. “It was very chaotic at the scene.”
At a news conference, Edwards originally said two suspects were in custody. He later clarified one of the two detained was not believed to be involved. Four handguns were recovered but at least one belonged to the second individual. Police did not offer a motive for the shooting but said they believe the suspect knew at least one of the victims.
RPS canceled all remaining activities Tuesday night, including Thomas Jefferson High School’s graduation ceremony which was set to take place later in the evening. All schools are closed Wednesday as well.
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