On Tuesday, tragedy struck Richmond, Virginia at the Huguenot High School graduation ceremony when two people were killed and five were injured in a shooting. At around 5:15 p.m. outside of the Altria Theater, where the ceremony was being held, shots rang out, sending the graduates and families into a frenzy. Interim Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards announced that a 19-year-old has been apprehended and will be charged with second-degree murder.
The deceased were an 18-year-old graduate and a 36-year-old attendee of the ceremony. The other victims included a 14-year-old boy and four men aged 31, 32, 55, and 58. The 31-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries and the other four were reported to be in stable condition. In addition, more than a dozen people were hurt or treated for panic attacks due to the chaos. Witnesses said they heard around 30 shots and four firearms were recovered at the scene.
John Willard, a neighbor from the 18th floor of a nearby apartment, remembered seeing people running and parents embracing their children tightly. Mayor Levar Stoney promised the police would do all within their power to bring those responsible to justice.
In response, the Richmond school district cancelled all high school graduations for the week and shut all schools on Wednesday. School board member Jonathan Roung described the scene as a “stampede” of people returning to the building. Superintendent Jason Kamras expressed his distress at seeing “our kids get shot” and begged for the community to end the violence.