According to the interim head of police for the city of Richmond, Virginia, a gunman opened fire as hundreds of people stood outside following a high school graduation ceremony on Tuesday evening, resulting in the deaths of two individuals and injuries to five more.
Other people were harmed as they rushed to escape the gunshots surrounding Richmond’s Monroe Park, including a nine-year-old girl who was hit by a car, Richmond Interim Police Chief Rick Edwards told reporters on Tuesday night. The incident occurred as festivity turned into dread around the area of Monroe Park.
Two people were detained by the police initially, however, it was later determined that one of them was not involved in the crime. The other suspect, a 19-year-old male who authorities believe may have known one of the victims and who was in possession of four handguns, was detained on Tuesday night, and Edwards said that the police will suggest charging him with two charges of second-degree murder.
A student who had just graduated on Tuesday and a man who was 36 years old and had attended the ceremony in a theater next to the park both lost their lives in the attack. They were not recognized in any way.
According to Matthew Stanley, a representative with Richmond Public Schools, the shooting took place at Monroe Park after the ceremony held at Huguenot High School in the Altria Theater. The theater is located directly across the street from the park, which is located on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
In addition to the two people who were shot and murdered, five other people, including a kid 14 years old and four men ranging in age from 31 to 58, were injured by gunshots. According to Edwards, four of those injured suffered injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.
According to Edwards, the child who was struck by a car and sent to the hospital on Tuesday night had injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.
At approximately 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time, three off-duty police officers who were working security at the ceremony reported hearing gunshots outside. According to what was stated during an earlier press conference by the temporary police chief, they radioed in a call of shots fired, and other officers who were performing traffic duty responded.
The suspect attempted to flee the area, but VCU police were able to catch up with him and apprehend him.
“Is there nothing that is holy left in this world? Is there nothing left that is holy anymore? During the initial press conference, the Mayor of Richmond, Levar M. Stoney, stated.
The mayor assured everyone that whoever was responsible would be brought to justice, saying that this would be done “not just for the families involved but for the city.”
According to Stanley, the graduation ceremony for a separate high school that was planned to take place in the theater after the event for Huguenot High School was canceled. According to the website for the school district, the Altria Theater will serve as the location for the commencement exercises of all three of the district’s schools on Tuesday.
According to the superintendent of Richmond Public Schools, the graduation ceremony had just concluded, and graduates were outside taking photos with their families when the shooting occurred. Edwards stated that there were hundreds of people present at the park at the time.
“I don’t have any more words on this,” stated Kamras. “I simply can’t take it any longer to watch innocent people, including our children, get shot. And I implore everyone in our community to please stop.”
According to a notification that was sent out by Virginia Commonwealth University around 5:15 p.m., a shooting took place at Monroe Park. After a little over an hour, the alert page stated that there was no longer any active threat.