The suspect who killed 2 in the mass shooting outside a Virginia high school graduation ceremony Tuesday, has been identified as Amari Pollard.
Pollard gunned down Shawn Jackson, 18, and his father, Renzo Smith, 36, just moments after the ceremony concluded. According to the police, he had a longtime rivalry with Jackson. Five others were also shot but managed to escape with non-life-threatening injuries.
Who is Amari Pollard?
Pollard is from Enrico County. He was arraigned on two charges of second-degree murder Wednesday morning and is being held without bail after opening fire on the crowd who had gathered for the graduation ceremony around 5:15 p.m. outside the Altria Theater after he witnessed Huguenot High School graduates walk the stage to receive their diplomas.
“I still can’t shake the image of Shawn receiving CPR on the ground still in his graduation gown,” Richmond School District Superintendent Jason Kamras said at a Wednesday briefing. The police added that here were no indications that the shooting was gang-related at this point.
“They knew each other and had an ongoing dispute,” Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards said.
Who was Shawn Jackson?
Kamras described Jackson as a sociable and popular presence who had to overcome personal adversity to graduate.
He noted that he shook his hand after bestowing his graduation diploma — and that he was dead 20 minutes later.
“Those who did know Shawn described him as bubbly and the life of the party,” Karmas said. “Getting to the graduation stage was not easy. Nevertheless he did it. And he was rightly proud and smiling and celebrating like all of his peers. And then just a few minutes later, while enjoying the moment with his family in Monroe Park, he was gunned down.”