RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools (RPS) was cited with multiple safety violations at the state level, after a weekend break-in at Richmond Community High School resulted in blood being splattered in the hallways and left for students and staff to discover upon their arrival.

RPS officials said the break-in happened around 1 a.m. on Sunday, May 15. That’s when the building’s burglary alarm was activated, notifying the school division’s night security personnel, as well as Richmond Fire and Police. RPS night security was again notified when the high school’s fire alarm went off at approximately 1:09 a.m. According to school officials, security personnel and first responders arrived at Richmond Community High School within about 15 minutes of the first alarm sounding.

In an email to School Board Vice Chair Kenya Gibson, who also represents the district where the high school is located, Superintendent Jason Kamras noted that RPS night security personnel alerted the school division’s facilities team to what had happened around 5 a.m. However, Kamras said there was no mention of any need for cleaning, and that discipline of the employee was in process in response to this issue.

“We were told about it, as a board, on Sunday, early Sunday morning, that somebody had broken into the building and that nothing had been taken, and that’s all we heard,” Gibson told 8News on Tuesday. “On Monday morning, I received a text from a parent, who was completely up in arms. She had received a text from her daughter, who was a student at the school, showing this horrific scene.”

According to the timeline of events from the superintendent, the first Richmond Community High School custodian arrived at the building at approximately 6:30 a.m. the following Monday, May 16. That’s when the custodian discovered blood stains and began cleaning. About 15 minutes later, night security personnel reportedly went to the building and met with the custodian, but did not share the severity of the issue with the administration.

“Like anybody, I was shocked, horrified,” Gibson said. “We’ve had a lot of things happen in this school district, but having a hallway look like the scene of a massacre like that, no one can anticipate, and I was just horrified.”

Gibson said that parents and guardians of students in attendance at Richmond Community High School reached out to her, asking about the division’s protocols.

“To find out that we had none is concerning,” she said. “I’m a parent myself, and I can just say that at the end of the day, this isn’t something that we can allow to continue to happen.”

The state cited RPS with three violations, which Gibson told 8News would have totaled around $20,000 in fines, had the school division not been a public entity. The violations were designated as “serious” by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and ranged from issues with contamination and exposure control plans.

“Every staff member within the school district is required to do training on bodily fluids,” Gibson said. “This is required by the state, so everyone from top to bottom.”

Correspondence from Kamras to Gibson showed that state officials visited the high school to review the site on Wednesday, May 18. By that point, the superintendent noted that a vendor had completed additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures at the school.

According to a letter from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), sent to RPS’ coordinator of risk management, the violations were rectified, and the matter was considered closed by September.

In response to the incident at Richmond Community High School and the blood that went uncleaned before classes resumed after the weekend, school officials said they were drafting protocols for night security personnel regarding notifications after an incident. The school division also received the following statement from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) regarding the safety concerns for students and staff in the building:

The three most common bloodborne pathogens include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. HIV dies quickly with exposure to air and light, so it is extremely unlikely to pass through dried blood. Hepatitis B and C can stay alive in dried blood, but it would need to pass through the skin through a wound or broken skin in order to infect someone. Additionally, most children are vaccinated against Hepatitis B, lowering their risk of exposure further. While this experience was unfortunate, we would consider dried blood on the ground to be a low health risk when folks are wearing shoes.

As for the intruder, according to a spokesperson for the Richmond Police Department (RPD), officers arrived at the high school early Sunday morning after being alerted to an alarm call and suspicious activity. That’s where authorities said a man was found, having apparently broken into the academic building.

“The individual suffered lacerations and was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later released,” the spokesperson said. “RPS security arrived and took custody of the school. The individual was cited for Trespass on School Property and Destruction of Property.”

RPD identified the suspect as Garin Pappas of Warrenton, VA. Court records also listed his name as Gavin Pappas.

Court records show that Pappas was set for a hearing on Aug. 10, during which the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office opted to not move forward with the charges. 8News reached out to Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin for comment:

After discussing the specific facts with an RPS representative who was present in court, we determined that there were exigent circumstances and that the defendant had no criminal intent.