UPDATE: The two victims killed in the graduation mass shooting have been identified.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When many Huguenot High School students and families look back on what should have been a monumental moment in their lives, they may instead be reminded of the tragically horrific events that transpired instead.
Officers with the Richmond Police Department recalled chaos and screaming at the culmination of the graduation as a deadly mass shooting unfolded Tuesday evening.
Bullets were fired as graduates and loved ones exited Huguenot High School’s graduation ceremony around 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6.
“This should’ve been a safe space. People should have felt safe at a graduation,” Richmond Interim Police Chief Rick Edwards said. “It is tragic that someone decided to bring a gun and reign terror on our community.”
Police confirmed all the gunfire took place outside of the Altria Theater, with families and friends celebrating what was supposed to be a beautiful day before it ultimately turned into an indisputable nightmare.
Two people were killed, including an 18-year-old student who’d just graduated moments before, according to Acting Police Chief Rick Edwards. He confirmed the other man killed was 36 years old. Officers believe the suspect knew one of the victims.
The deaths marked 33 total in the city of Richmond in 2023 due to gun violence, according to Edwards.
Several others were hurt during the madness, including a nine-year-old girl hit and injured by a car while running from the shooting. She was treated for injuries and has since been released from the hospital. Police said five other people were shot and injured, with one remaining in critical condition. The four others with non-life-threatening gunshot injuries range in age from 14 to 58.
Two people were injured after falling and three people self-transported to the hospital for anxiety.
Acting Chief Edwards said the department was not prepared to release the names of those killed but will in the days to come. The families have since been notified.
Police confirmed a 19-year-old man suspected of pulling the trigger was taken into custody and was believed to know one of the victims.
Many families are desperately asking a simple question — “Why?” But nobody has an answer that could possibly calm the hearts of those grieving this evening after the senseless attack.
8News will be working around the clock to bring more updates as this story progresses. For a wrap of what we know, visit our original article on the tragic event.