A man and his 18-year-old graduating son, Shawn Smith were killed in a shooting at a high school graduation ceremony on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus, in the United States on Tuesday.
Tameeka Jackson-Smith told NBC that the shooting that killed her 36-year-old husband, Renzo Smith and her son also left five others injured, according to police.
United Communities Against Crime, a local organisation, also shared the identities of the slain father and son on behalf of the family, according to NBC.
One of two people initially taken into custody, a 19-year-old man, was suspected in the shooting, Richmond’s interim police chief, Rick Edwards, said at a news conference. A second person who was taken into custody was uninvolved, he said.
The suspect, who has not been publicly identified, faces two counts of second-degree murder, Edwards said. Authorities believed the suspect knew at least one of the victims, he said.
Smith had been in attendance to watch his son graduate, Edwards said. Police had not yet publicly released the names of the victims as of early Wednesday.
The five injured victims — all male — are ages 14 to 58, he said.
One of them, who is 31 years old, was being treated for life-threatening injuries, and four had injuries not thought to be life-threatening, police said.
Nine more people were treated for anxiety and minor injuries and two people for falls, police said. A 9-year-old who was hit by a car was treated at the scene and released and later went to a hospital, police said.
Mayor Levar M. Stoney said, “Children were involved here, at graduation. This is tragic but also traumatic. Because this is their graduation day.”
The shooting took place at Monroe Park, an open space on campus, at 5:13 pm, authorities said. Four firearms were recovered, Edwards said.
Five people were taken to the hospital from the area with gunshot wounds, and two more gunshot victims self-transported to the hospital, police said.
Huguenot High School’s graduation was scheduled to be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Altria Theater, adjacent to the park, according to the school’s website.
In a notice posted on its website, Richmond Public Schools said the shooting took place in the park after the graduation ceremony. It said that all district schools would be closed Wednesday and that all high school graduations this week have been cancelled.