Mass Shooting at High School Graduation

( – UPDATED FROM LAST NIGHT: On Tuesday, a tragic shooting occurred outside a high school graduation ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, resulting in two deaths and five injuries, officials have stated.

This horrific event happened around 5:15 p.m. near the Altria Theater of Virginia Commonwealth University, where Huguenot High School was celebrating its graduation. Interim Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards reported this information at a news conference.

Footage from the location recorded the terrifying noise of gunshots, causing graduates and their families to scramble for safety.

“When they heard the shots, everything became chaotic,” Edwards explained. “With hundreds of people present at Monroe Park, people scattered everywhere. It was an incredibly disordered scene.”

A 19-year-old man was arrested after the shooting and will likely face second-degree murder charges, Edwards added.

Edwards stated that police inside the theater heard the gunfire and alerted officers outside. These officers then found several shooting victims in the park across from the public building.

Two males, aged 18 and 36, later died from their gunshot injuries. The 18-year-old was a new graduate, and the 36-year-old was attending the ceremony.

The police have not yet disclosed the victims’ names but believe the suspect knew at least one of them.

Additionally, five others, including a 14-year-old boy and four men aged 31, 32, 55, and 58, were hit by bullets. Officials report that the 31-year-old’s injuries are life-threatening, but the others are in stable condition.

Besides those directly hit by bullets, about a dozen more people suffered injuries or panic attacks due to the chaos following the gunfire. Some people fell, a 9-year-old girl was hit by a car, and others were hospitalized for panic attacks or minor injuries.

Richmond Public Schools superintendent Jason Kamras explained that the newly graduated students were taking pictures outside when the shooting started.

A video taken by a graduate’s uncle showed a group of jubilant students celebrating, which quickly turned into panic as around 20 gunshots echoed through the air. The crowd then ran back into the building, screaming in fear.

A local resident, John Willard, described the scene of students and parents fleeing in terror.

An eyewitness told a local news station they heard about 30 gunshots, and sources reported that four guns were found at the site.

After arresting the suspect, who has not been named, the police chief assured that there was no longer a threat to the public.

In response to this tragedy, all high school graduations scheduled for this week have been canceled, and all schools will be closed on Wednesday as a precautionary measure. The Richmond school district superintendent expressed sorrow at this tragic incident marring what should have been a joyous occasion.