RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Richmond Police has clarified conflicting information they initially provided about an alleged mass shooting plot on July 4, according to a press release from the department on Friday night.
The bombshell police press conference announcing an alleged mass shooting plot foiled took place on Wednesday, July 6, and Richmond Police have been clearing up information ever since. Friday’s clarification was that crowds were indeed targeted at Dogwood Dell — something the police chief himself initially mentioned.
“A subject who I am referring to as a hero citizen picked up the phone, overheard a conversation that there was a mass shooting being planned here in Richmond Virginia at our Fourth of July celebration at the Dell,” Police Chief Gerald Smith said Wednesday.
But a local print outlet obtained an affidavit for Rolman Balacarcel, the man reportedly cited in the tip. It does not mention a specific location for the shooting, which is something a police spokesperson doubled down on.
But on Friday, the same spokesperson issued a press release citing that a “subsequent investigation“ had determined the Dell was the target.
That same affidavit reportedly cites the caller having knowledge that Balacarcel had connections to a Mexican gang called “Los Zetas,” with operations in the US and Mexico.
8News continues to learn more about the Guatemalan government’s involvement in this investigation.
A statement on behalf of the Guatemalan Consulate in Maryland said the men are from Baja Verapaz. The Consulate is in contact with the men’s families and has made formal requests for interviews at the Richmond and Albermarle County Jails.
The Consulate’s statement saying the men were arrested on July 2 and 3 also conflicts with statements from the Richmond Police Department, which maintains the men were arrested on July 1 and 5.
8News was the first U.S. news outlet to report the arrests have turned into an international incident.
Richmond Police are also defending themselves tonight, claiming they did not violate Mayor Stoney’s 2017 order for police to not participate with ICE, as some have suggested. Police said what the department did in this probe was within their bounds.