RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One high school student is fighting for their life and another is injured after they were both shot outside of George Wythe High School Thursday afternoon. The school was put on lockdown in response to the shooting.
Officers with the Richmond Police Department (RPD) were called to the school around noon Thursday. There, officers found the first victim, a boy, with life-threatening injuries outside of the school in a wooded area by the parking lot. The boy was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Police said the second shooting victim, another boy, took himself to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Detectives have determined the shootings happened in the parking lot of the school, according to a statement from Richmond Police.
At a 2 p.m. news conference, Acting Police Chief Rick Edwards said the department believes there could be more than one suspect involved in the shooting, and that police are continuing to investigate the shooting timeline.
“I’m not sure if they [the victims] went to school this morning, or if they were inside and came out during lunch,” Edwards continued.
Edwards said the department does know how many shots were fired in total but is not ready to release the information.
George Wythe High School is located across the road from one of Richmond’s crime hotspots — The Belt Atlantic Apartments. In his first crime briefing as acting chief, Edwards announced that the police department would be focusing on a number of crime hotspots in the city — including Whitcomb, Creighton, Fairfield, Gilpin and Mosby Courts as well as the Belt Atlantic Apartments.
Several other schools in the area were put under a lock and teach Thursday in response to the shooting but the lockdowns have since been lifted.
Richmond Public Schools sent out a statement shortly after the shooting:
“URGENT: Dear George Wythe Families, we are sending this message to make you aware that George Wythe HS is under lock and teach due to a shooting in the parking lot. The Richmond Police Department is on scene and is actively investigating the situation. Please remember that during a lock and teach, campus movement is restricted and no one will be allowed enter or depart the school until the situation is resolved. Please know the safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and we will share further updates today.”
“There are too many guns in this city, and they are being used too often,” RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras said at the news conference.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also released a statement regarding the shooting on Thursday afternoon.
“I am closely monitoring the situation at George Wythe High School alongside Richmond Police Department (RPD) and Richmond Public Schools as they continue to investigate this senseless shooting. I encourage anyone who has any information regarding this situation to please reach out to RPD immediately,” Stoney said. “I am confident that with the help of the community, RPD will go above and beyond to bring the shooter to justice. Brandy and I are praying for the full recovery of the two Richmond students.”
Officers remained at the school investigating the shooting for several hours Thursday.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Stay with 8News for more.