RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two days after the mass shooting following Huguenot High School’s graduation ceremony that left two people dead — including 18-year-old Shawn Jackson — Richmond Public School (RPS) leaders canceled the remainder of the school year and postponed graduations.
Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras announced on Wednesday the school would be canceled for the final full day on Thursday, June 8, and a half day on Friday, June 9. All school events and end-of-year celebrations have also been canceled.
With six remaining Richmond graduations ceremonies, additional security precautions have been added. No bags, flowers, balloons, or amplified devices will be allowed inside the schools, and all attendees will also be subject to searches.
Kamras stated in the press release, “I felt this step was necessary to safeguard the RPS family. Thank you for your grace and understanding.”
On Tuesday night, three students from Armstrong High School were injured in two separate shootings within 24 hours, according to Kamras. These incidents have not been confirmed to be connected to the Huguenot High School mass shooting.
Shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 18-year-old Shawn Jackson and his 36-year-old stepfather, Renzo Smith, were tragically killed in a shooting that left several people injured at the Altria Theatre. According to court records, 19-year-old Amari Ty-Jon Pollard was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the incident.
In a press release, former Huguenot High School assistant principal, Kevin Olds, shared memories of Jackson’s personality and the student’s high school experience:
When Shawn started ninth grade, he struggled a bit with the structure of high school. As a result, he often found his way to my office. I’m grateful for that because, over time, we formed a strong bond.
Shawn had a joyous and infectious smile. His sense of humor made him full of life, laughter, and all things fun. He was also a very bright young man who could master any textbook.
At times, Shawn wanted to give up, and he considered dropping out of school. But the safety net of the village would not allow that. In addition to his loving parents, a whole team at Huguenot supported him – especially Ms. Harris and Mr. Christmas, school counselors, and Ms. Wilson, school social worker. Because of their efforts and Shawn’s diligence, he graduated yesterday. I am utterly heartbroken that his life ended just minutes later.Kevin Olds, former Huguenot High School assistant principal
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