Teen, stepfather killed in Virginia high school graduation ceremony

One victim still has life-threatening injuries.

Published: June 7, 2023 4:03pm

Two people were killed at the Virginia high school graduation event Tuesday, authorities said Wednesday.

The victims have been identified Shawn Jackson, 18, and 31-year-old stepfather Renzo Smith, according to the City of Richmond police department.

Jackson was set to graduate Tuesday from Huguenot High School, according to CBS News.

The alleged shooter, Amari Pollard, 19, of Richmond, was arrested by security at Virginia Commonwealth University, where the graduation event was held, after fleeing the scene, according to CNN. 

Pollard is being charged with two counts of second-degree murder and is being held without bond, according to online records.

Pollard and Jackson knew each other and had "an ongoing dispute," said Richmond acting Police Chief Rick Edwards.

Five other people were injured or wounded in the shooting, including a victim who was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. A 9-year-old girl was hit by a car during the shooting and taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to Edwards. The three others are males with injuries that were not considered life threatening.

Edwards said early in the investigation that two suspects were in custody but explained one of them was not believed to be involved in the shooting.

The graduation ceremony at the Altria Theater, on the college campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, and was cut short when the shooting started at about 5 p.m. ET, Edwards also said.

The graduation ceremony will be rescheduled according to a Richmond Public Schools spokesperson.

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