2 killed, several injured in shooting at graduation ceremony in Virginia; accused arrested

By India Today World Desk: Two people were killed in a shooting on Tuesday outside a downtown theater in Richmond, Virginia, where a high school graduation ceremony had recently concluded, police told Reuters.

A suspect was arrested after the shooting near Virginia Commonwealth University, Interim Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards said at a news conference. At least 12 others were injured or treated for anxiety due to the mayhem.

Police also said a 19-year-old who was in custody will be charged with two counts of second-degree murder. A total of seven people were wounded in the shooting.

The city’s chief said the two who died were both male, ages 18 and 36. Their names were not released, but police believe the suspect knew at least one of the victims.

Police also recovered multiple handguns from the arrested.

Officers inside the theater said they heard gunfire around 5:15 pm and radioed to police stationed outside, who found multiple victims. The identities of those in custody and those injured were not immediately released, the Associated Press reported.

“We’re going to do everything we can to bring the individuals who were involved in this to justice. … This should not be happening anywhere,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said at a news conference.

Richmond Public School said in a message on its website that the shooting took place in Monroe Park, which is across the street from the theater and adjacent to the college campus, after a graduation ceremony for Huguenot High School.

School board member Jonathan Young told Richmond TV station WWBT that graduates and other attendees were exiting the theater when they heard about 20 gunshots in rapid succession.

“That prompted, as you would expect, hundreds of persons in an effort to flee the gunfire to return to the building,” Young said. “It materialized in a stampede,” he added.

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