Another shooting has shaken America. This time, it occurred after a high school graduation in Virginia.
On Tuesday (June 6), NBC News reported dozens of students participated in a commencement ceremony on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus in Richmond. Around 5:13 p.m., after the graduation, shots rang out at Monroe Park, an open space on campus, police shared.
Law enforcement later revealed that 18-year-old Shawn Jackson, one of the graduates, and his father, Renzo Smith, 36, were killed during the shooting. Tameeka Jackson-Smith, the mother and wife of the victims, confirmed their identities with the outlet. When Richmond’s Interim Police Chief Rick Edwards spoke at a news conference, he shared five additional people suffered gunshot wounds. The officer noted the victims were all males, ranging from 14 to 58.
Currently multiple law enforcements are on scene of a mass shooting that took place during a high school graduation ceremony in Monroe Park on the… pic.twitter.com/18sEoB973z
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) June 6, 2023
One of the casualties is being treated for life-threatening injuries, while the four others sustained wounds “not thought to be life-threatening,” police noted. First responders treated nine more people for minor injuries and anxiety. Two individuals suffered falls in the group, and a 9-year-old was hit by a car. After receiving medical attention, a local hospital released the child.
After the shooting, Mayor Levar M. Stoney said, “Children were involved here, at a graduation. This is tragic but also traumatic. Because this is their graduation day.” According to the outlet, law enforcement took two individuals into custody. The 19-year-old suspect faces two counts of second-degree murder. Police believe he may have known at least one of the victims. The other man taken in by authorities was uninvolved, Edwards said.
“This is supposed to be a joyous day when our kids walk the stage and get their diplomas. And then this tragedy occurred. I’m tired of seeing people get shot, our kids get shot, and I beg of the entire community to stop,” Superintendent Jason Kamras said. “To just stop. Our kids can’t take it. Our teachers can’t take it,” he continued before adding, “Our families can’t take it anymore. I beg of you to stop.”
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