An 18-year-old who just graduated high school and his father were killed in a Tuesday (June 6) shooting following the graduation ceremony in Virginia, according to NBC News. Shawn Jackson, 18, and Renzo Smith, 36, were identified as the slain victims by a local organization called United Communities Against Crime on behalf of the family.
Jackson was one of the graduating seniors during Huguenot High School’s ceremony, which took reportedly place at the Altria Theater on Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus. Richmond Police said shots rang out at 5:13 p.m., killing Jackson and Smith, his father, and injuring at least five others at Monroe Park, which is near the university. Tameeka Jackson-Smith, Jackson’s mother and Smith’s wife, told reporters the dad was attending their son’s graduation.
Two people were taken into custody, one of them being a 19-year-old man who authorities believe may know at least one of the victims, according to Richmon Poice’s Interim Chief Rick Edwards. The second person arrested was uninvolved, he added.
Edwards said the victims’ ages range from 14 to 58. One of the victims of the shooting suffered life-threatening injuries, while four others got non-life-threatening injuries, officials reported.
“This is supposed to be a joyous day when our kids walk the stage and get their diploma,” Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras said during a news conference about the shooting. “I’m tired of seeing people get shot, our kids get shot, and I beg of the entire community to stop… Our kids can’t take it. Our teachers can’t take it. Our families can’t take it anymore. I beg of you to stop.”
According to a notice posted to the school district’s website, all schools will be closed Wednesday and the remaining high school graduations this week have been canceled.
“Children were involved here, at a graduation,” Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “This is tragic but also traumatic. Because this is their graduation day.”
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