On Tuesday, a man armed with four handguns opened fire on a crowd outside a high school graduation ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, police said. Two people were slain, and five others were injured.
Police said they arrested one suspect, a 19-year-old man who knew one of the victims, and fired at him as he emerged from a theater on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus where Huguenot High School's commencement ceremony had just concluded.
In addition to other offenses, the suspect was likely to be charged with two counts of second-degree murder, interim Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards stated at a press conference.
Edwards described the shooter's behavior as "disgusting and cowardly," given that his dispute was with a single individual.
"When you have a crowd of this size, innocent people will be caught up in the chaos, and that's exactly what happened today," Edwards said. This should have been a secure area...It is exceedingly tragic that someone chose to bring a firearm to this incident and sow fear in our community."
The United States has become accustomed to mass shootings at schools, retail malls, and churches.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, this was the 279th mass shooting in the United States in the first 157 days of 2023, using the definition of four or more persons shot or killed in a single incident, excluding the shooter.
Edwards stated that the deceased were men between 18 and 36. He did not corroborate WWBT's claim that the victims were fathers and sons.
Edwards stated that a man aged 31 with life-threatening injuries and four other males aged 14, 32, 55, and 58 were expected to survive.
In addition, according to Edwards, a 9-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle during the ensuing chaos, and multiple others were injured in falls or suffered anxiety.
The suspect fled the scene on foot and was apprehended with four handguns, three of which may have been discharged, according to the official, who emphasized that it was too early in the investigation to be certain.