Two people were killed and at least five others shot Tuesday evening outside a high school graduation event being held on campus at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, officials and local reports said.
One of the victims remains in critical condition, while the other four were listed as non-life threatening, police said at a press conference following the incident. At least six more were injured by other means, including two from falls, one who was hit by a car and three who “reported suffering from anxiety.”
Two people were also taken into custody in connection with the incident, and police said there is no active threat to the community.
Richmond Public Schools confirmed to NBC 12 that the incident happened outside a campus theater during Huguenot High School’s graduation ceremony, but offered few other details.
A subsequent graduation event for Thomas Jefferson High School has since been canceled.
VCU sent out its initial alert just after 5 p.m. ET, warning of a shooting at the school’s Monroe Park campus.
“The Richmond Police and VCU Police Departments, with support from Virginia State Police and Henrico Police, are on scene near the Altria Theater for a shooting incident,” another alert from VCU said. “There is no ongoing threat to the community but there is a heavy police presence at Monroe Park. Richmond Police are leading the investigation.”
A witness, who goes by Michelle Foxx on Facebook, posted a livestream of the carnage, showing paramedics performing CPR on a victim amid strewn shoes and graduation caps.
She claimed one of the victims was a young graduate who “just walked across that stage” and another was a man who had been standing beside him.
Local station CBS 6 appeared to confirm the account, reporting that one of the victims with life-threatening injuries was a 17-year-old—and that one of the people injured escaped the gunfire only to be hit by a car while fleeing the scene.
Foxx also said that police had already been manning a corner next to the theater. “When the gunshots first started going off, I didn’t think there were gunshots because the police were so close,” she said.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who called the shooting an act of “cowardice,” addressed the tragedy during Tuesday evening’s news conference.
“This is tragic but also traumatic because this is their graduation day,” Stoney said. “Is nothing sacred any longer? This should not be happening anywhere, whether it’s in Richmond, whether it’s in Virginia, whether it’s in the United States, this should not be happening anywhere. A child should be able to go to their graduation and walk at their graduation and enjoy the accomplishment.”
All Richmond public schools will be closed Wednesday.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
The post 2 Killed, 7 Shot Outside High School Graduation in Virginia appeared first on The Daily Beast.