Two people were killed and five wounded in a shooting after a high school graduation in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday, police said.
During a press conference, Richmond Interim Police Chief Rick Edwards provided information on the two individuals taken into custody, one of whom was identified as a 19-year-old male, while the other was confirmed to be uninvolved in the incident.
The suspect is facing two charges of second-degree murder. Edwards said that the police believe the suspect knew at least one of the victims.
According to Edwards, the deceased individuals were identified as an 18-year-old male who had recently graduated and a 36-year-old male who was present at the ceremony.
Edwards said that all five injured people are males, with ages ranging from 14 to 58.
Providing an update on the victims’ conditions, the police reported that one of the victims, a 31-year-old, is currently undergoing treatment for injuries classified as life-threatening. The remaining four victims sustained injuries that are not deemed life-threatening.
Police reported that six additional individuals sought medical treatment for various conditions, such as anxiety and falls. Among them was a 9-year-old child who was struck by a car. The child received initial treatment at the scene, was subsequently transported to a hospital, and is currently under observation there, according to Edwards.
The incident took place near Virginia Commonwealth University’s Monroe Park campus. In a statement on its website, Richmond Public Schools confirmed the shooting took place in Monroe Park, near the college campus, shortly after the Huguenot High School graduation ceremony.
Officers present at a nearby theater, where the graduation was taking place, heard gunshots and immediately went outside to find multiple victims with gunshot wounds, Edwards said.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) promptly issued an online alert at approximately 5:30 p.m., informing the community about the police response to the gunfire. State police also issued an alert advising people to avoid the area.
In an update, VCU confirmed the location of the shooting occurred outside of the Altria Theater in Monroe Park. The wounded individuals were taken to VCU Medical Center.
“There is no longer an active threat, but there is a heavy police presence at Monroe Park. Please continue to avoid the area,” the VCU alert reads.
Edwards said at the press conference there is no ongoing threat to the community following the incident.
Due to concerns for safety, the school district decided to cancel a separate graduation scheduled for later that day “out of an abundance of caution.” As a result, schools will remain closed on Wednesday.
“Tonight, after the Huguenot High School graduation ceremony, a shooting took place outside in Monroe Park. Out of an abundance of caution, RPS will close all schools tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7,” the statement reads. “All high school graduations this week have also been canceled.”
Mayor Levar Stoney said on Twitter that he’s monitoring the situation and is in touch with law enforcement, and will make more information available as it comes in. He advised people to avoid the area.
“We’re going to do everything we can to bring the individuals involved in this to justice,” Stoney said at the press conference. “This should not be happening anywhere.”
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said on Twitter that state law enforcement personnel are supporting Richmond police in the investigation.
“My administration continues monitoring the terrible shooting in the heart of Richmond tonight,” Youngkin said.
From The Epoch Times