RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond native Raymond Goode was about to perform a Kung Fu demonstration at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade when he heard gunshots, followed by screams.
Unknown to him and his Kung Fu group at the time, a gunman, who police believe to be 21-year-old Robert Crimo, had climbed onto a roof and opened fire on spectators.
“The parade had just started and then I heard gunshots,” Goode said. “I heard sirens and I saw people running and I’m like people don’t just run.”
In an instant, the Independence Day Celebration turned into chaos. But instead of running away from the chaos, Goode and his Kung Fu instructor, Sifu Baron, ran into the danger to help the victims.
“Everything is just frantic. It’s chaos,” he said. “It’s people running around… people on the streets… a mother looking for her child.”
Goode and Baron described a hectic scene, saying the streets were riddled with bullets and bodies were falling. As they neared the bloodshed, they encountered an older man who had been shot in the shoulder.
“He was grazed in the head, shot in the back of the shoulder. He was walking wounded. He’s leaning against the building. So, we run in, flag down a cop and get him in the cop car,” Baron said.
“One of the members took off his shirt and wrapped it around him. He kept trying to get up because he was in shock,” Goode said.
Despite the dangers, the pair believes their combat training helped prepare them to assist.
“We helped and assisted in any way we could, but you can understand in that chaos people are breaking down. People were crying, but we’re trying to get them out of the area because there’s an active shooter on site,” Goode said.
Sadly, seven people were killed in the mass shooting. But in the wake of tragedy, Goode and Baron hope the community will still come together to overcome fear.
“You chose fear or you chose love and you just have to keep choosing love,” Baron said.