RIchmond shooting: 18-year-old grad and another man are killed after a high school commencement. A 19-year-old is in custody | #schoolsaftey

From @GoadGatsby Twitter/Reuters

A gunman opened fire in a park in Richmond on Tuesday after a high school graduation ceremony took place across the street, police say.


A shooting after a high school commencement ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, killed two people Tuesday evening – an 18-year-old man on his graduation day and a man who’d attended the event – and wounded five others, spreading terror among hundreds who were celebrating, police say.

The gunfire happened in Richmond’s Monroe Park, where graduates and guests were reveling and taking photographs after Huguenot High School held its commencement at a theater across the street, officials said.

The shooting sent people running in all directions, and a 9-year-old girl was injured by a car that struck her during the chaos, the city’s interim police chief said in a news conference.

A suspect – a 19-year-old man – was taken into custody after the shooting. Police intend to seek charges of second-degree murder against him, and other charges could follow, Edwards said. The names of the suspect and those killed and injured were not immediately released.

“This should have been a safe space,” the interim chief, Rick Edwards, said Tuesday night. “It’s just incredibly tragic that someone decided to bring a gun to this incident and rain terror on our community.”

It’s unclear what motivated the attack. The chief said it was unknown Tuesday whether the suspect is a student.

“We think the suspect knew at least one of the victims,” the interim chief said, without elaborating.

Huguenot High’s ceremony was the second Richmond high school commencement to happen Tuesday at Altria Theater, and a third graduation ceremony scheduled there that day was canceled after the shooting, school officials said.

Though Edwards said the 18-year-old who died had graduated Tuesday, Edwards did not say from which school. The other man who died was a 36-year-old who’d just attended the ceremony, the interim chief said.

The other gunshot victims were a 14-year-old boy and four men ranging in age from 31 to 58. The 31-year-old had life-threatening injuries as of Tuesday night and the rest did not, Edwards said

The 9-year-old girl who was hit by a car was being treated at a hospital Tuesday night with non-life-threatening injuries, he added.

The shooting marks one of at least 279 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.

The violence added Richmond to a list of communities across the country to grapple with the terror of mass shootings in recent months, including shootings at a mall in Texas, a school in Tennessee, a bank in Kentucky and near a beach in South Florida.

The shooting happened just before 5:15 p.m. ET, when three off-duty officers who were working security at the ceremony heard gunshots and reported them on their radios, and officers working traffic duty nearby responded, Edwards said.

“The initial officers indicated there was a barrage of gunfire, but it was over quickly,” he added.

The suspect fled on foot and was found and detained nearby by security officers with Virginia Commonwealth University, nearby, Edwards said. Monroe Park is part of VCU’s Monroe Park campus.

Police initially announced detained two people but later said one of them was not involved in the shooting.

Police seized several guns following the shooting, the interim chief said.

Turmoil unfolded when the shooting happened, Edwards said.

“I heard the call come over my radio, and you can hear the chaos and the screaming,” Edwards said.

“People were having panic attacks, falling on the ground screaming,” Edwards added. “Some people fell. One child was hit by a car.”

Naomi Wade was outside the Altria Theater selling flowers and teddy bears for the graduates, she told CNN affiliate WTVR. Images of smiling graduates in caps and gowns turned to scenes of panic as gunshots were heard, she said.

“Everyone literally started running for their lives, trampling each other. Trampled me. Trampled our whole entire stand. It was scary,” Wade said.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney decried the shooting Tuesday and promised whoever was involved would be brought to justice.

“Is nothing sacred any longer?” Stoney said at a news conference.

“This should not be happening anywhere,” Stoney said “A child should be able to go to their graduation and walk at their graduation and enjoy the accomplishment with their friends and families.”

Richmond Public Schools is closing all its schools Wednesday out of an abundance of caution, the system announced on its website.

The rest of this week’s high school graduations in the district also have been canceled.

“We’ve been preparing for an event like this. We’ve prepared for it with our partners and hoping that this day wouldn’t come,” Edwards said. “But it came to Richmond.”

Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security