RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dogwood Dell has been the center of attention this week since Richmond authorities named it as the target for a potential mass shooting on Independence Day that police said they prevented from happening. However, the incident has not deterred many from continuing to visit the spot in the following days.
On Friday, hundreds of people gathered at Dogwood Dell for a tribute to Prince, the artist and singer-songwriter who died in 2016.
On Sunday, July 10, the 12th Annual Gospel Music Fest, hosted by the popular radio host Sheilah Belle, is expected to fill the amphitheater seats. Belle said news of the thwarted July 4 mass shooting hasn’t changed the minds of those who plan to attend the event.
“I’ve never heard anyone saying they’re not going to come,” Belle said. “It has all been positive — ‘My sis, I’m there. My brother, I’m there. My sister, I’m there.’ Never heard anything contrary to that,” she told 8News.
Kali Roberts attended the Prince tribute tonight and said she was disheartened by the news of a shooting plot, but felt at ease knowing people are more aware.
“I was like, I have a strong feeling there’s going to be strong security under the circumstances, but at the same time it was a bit disheartening to find out about it,” Roberts said.
Belle said she has heard all of the reports but is leaning on faith to help her navigate through these chaotic times. “God’s got us,” she said.
Many people at the Prince tribute told 8News that they will not walk in fear. However, they also said seeing a heavy police presence helped put them at ease.