At least seven people were shot outside the Altria Theater in Richmond, Virginia on Tuesday. Two have died. The shooting took place after Huguenot High School’s graduation ceremony.
A 19-year-old suspect tried to flee but was arrested and will be charged with two counts of second-degree murder, Interim Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards said in a press conference. The shooter is a male.
A witness live-streamed the incident. People panicked after shots were fired.
Edwards added that five people were wounded outside the theater and in an adjacent park. At least 12 others were injured or treated for anxiety. “As they heard the gunfire, it was obviously chaos. We had hundreds of people in Monroe Park, so people scattered. It was very chaotic at the scene,” the officer said.
VCU first sent out an alert at 5 PM ET. They informed parents that the Richmond Police and VCU Police Departments, with support from Virginia State Police and Henrico Police, are on the scene near the Altria Theater.
“Currently monitoring the situation at Monroe Park. In touch with RPD and RPS. Will make information available as it comes in. Please avoid the area,” Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney tweeted.
“RPD is on scene for a shooting located at Laurel Street and Franklin Street. Multiple injuries reported. There is no immediate threat to the public. Briefing to follow. Avoid the area,” the Richmond Police Department said on Twitter.
Edwards said the two who died were both male, ages 18 and 36. Their names were not released. Police suspect that the shooter knew at least one victim.
U.S. Rep. Jennifer McClellan said in a statement, “Tonight’s celebration turned into every parent’s worst nightmare. As the mother of two school-aged children, I cannot fathom the profound heartbreak, sense of loss and trauma these families are experiencing. The gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis that we must address. We cannot continue to live in fear.”