Father and son declared dead after high school graduation shooting

On a day meant for celebration and proud milestones, a heinous act of violence unfolded at Virginia Commonwealth University.

In a deadly shooting that occurred following a high school graduation ceremony, an 18-year-old recent graduate and his father tragically lost their lives, Richmond police confirmed.

The victims were identified as Shawn Jackson, the graduate, and his 36-year-old father, Renzo Smith. They were among the seven people caught up in the crossfire.

Richmond’s interim police chief, Rick Edwards, revealed during a press briefing that a 19-year-old man is suspected in the shooting. He is one of two people who was initially arrested. The second individual, it turned out, was not involved.

Authorities have yet to disclose the suspect’s identity publicly, but it is known that he now faces two counts of second-degree murder. Furthermore, Edwards noted that the alleged shooter was probably familiar with the victims.

Alongside the fatal casualties, five other male victims were injured during by the gunfire. A 31-year-old man among them was reported to be in critical condition, while the injuries of the remaining four were deemed non-life-threatening.

Additionally, nine bystanders received treatment for minor injuries from the chaotic aftermath. A 9-year-old child, struck by a car during the incident, was later taken to a hospital.

In the aftermath of the shooting, which happened around 5:13 p.m., authorities recovered four firearms from the scene.

Richmond Public Schools declared in a statement that all district schools would close the following day, and subsequent high school graduation ceremonies were cancelled for the week.