JUST IN: Seven People Shot, 2 Dead at School Graduation Ceremony in Virginia, US
In a tragic turn of events, a high school graduation ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, turned into a scene of terror as seven people were shot, resulting in two Deaths. The incident took place outside the Atria Theater, causing panic among the students who were dressed in their graduation gowns.
The Huguenot High School officials confirmed that the shooting occurred during one of their graduation ceremonies. As a result, another graduation ceremony scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed, and all classes in the area have been canceled for Wednesday.
According to the police, the victims included an 18-year-old student from the graduating class and his 36-year-old father. Their identities have not yet been released to the public. Interim Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards revealed that a 19-year-old suspect has been apprehended and is currently in custody. It is believed that the suspect had some connection to at least one of the victims.
During the incident, another person was found in possession of a handgun and was initially detained. However, further investigation has led the police to conclude that this person was not involved in the attack.
The shooting took place at Monroe Park, just after the graduation ceremony had concluded on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney expressed his dismay during a press conference, asking, “Is nothing sacred any longer?” He emphasized that a graduation ceremony should be a safe and joyous occasion for students to celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family. Stoney referred to the shooting as a “selfish act.”
Following the incident, the university issued an alert to its students, assuring them that the police were on the scene and that there was no ongoing threat to the community. However, a heavy police presence remained at Monroe Park.
Chief Edwards revealed that three off-duty officers were inside the theater at the time of the shooting, with an additional seven officers stationed outside to manage traffic. The shots were heard by police inside the building at approximately 17:13 local time. Apart from the five individuals injured by gunfire, sustaining non-life-threatening injuries, two people suffered falls, and a nine-year-old girl was accidentally struck by a car amidst the chaos.
Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools, Jason Kamras, expressed his deep sadness over the incident, stating that it occurred on what should have been a joyous day for the graduating students. Kamras pleaded with the community to come together to address the alarming issue of gun violence that continues to harm innocent individuals.
As authorities investigate the motive behind this senseless act of violence, the Richmond community mourns the loss of two lives and prays for the swift recovery of those injured.
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JUST IN: Seven People Shot, 2 Dead at School Graduation Ceremony in Virginia, US.
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