Gunfight Outside Richmond Theater
Two people lost their lives and five others were shot during a gunfight outside a downtown Richmond theater where a high school graduation ceremony had just taken place. This sent hundreds of attendees fleeing in absolute terror. Witnesses reported that people were crying and holding their children while running in various directions.
The 19-year-old suspect attempted to evade arrest but was ultimately taken into custody. He is now facing two counts of second-degree murder. Acting Richmond Police Department Chief Rick Edwards held a press conference verifying the two deaths and the information about the suspect’s arrest.
Five other individuals were shot outside the Altria Theater. The city owns the theater, which is situated across from a large park and located in the center of the Virginia Commonwealth University of California campus. Police also indicated that at least two other people were injured, or received medical attention for anxiety stemming from the chaos.
Chief Edwards stated that “obviously there was chaos hearing the shots” and added that there were “hundreds of people in Monroe Park, so they started running in all directions. It was a very chaotic scene.” The families and friends of the graduates gathered to celebrate what should have been a joyous occasion were plunged into a terrifying and chaotic scene.
One of the fatalities was an 18-year-old student who had just graduated. The other was a 36-year-old man who attended the graduation. The authorities did not publicize their names, but police believe that the suspect, who was not immediately identified, knew at least one of the victims.
Community in Shock
This tragedy has left the community in shock. “This should have been a safe place. People should feel safe at a graduation,” said Chief Edwards. “It is tragic that someone decided to bring a gun to this incident and bring terror to our community,” he added.