Gunman kills two, wounds five at US high school graduation

Man armed with four handguns fired into crowd in Richmond, Virginia

A man armed with four handguns killed two people and wounded five others when he fired into a crowd outside a high school graduation ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday.

Police said they arrested a male suspect (19), who knew one of the victims and shot at him amid the crowd that had just emerged from the Huguenot High School’s commencement ceremony inside a theatre on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.

The suspect was likely to be charged with two counts of second-degree murder in addition to other offences.

Interim Richmond police chief Rick Edwards told a press conference the gunman’s behaviour was “disgusting and cowardly,” since his dispute appeared to be with just one person.


“When you have a crowd like this, innocent people are going to be caught up in the mayhem, and that’s what happened today,” he said.

“Obviously, this should have been a safe space ... It’s just incredibly tragic that someone decided to bring a gun to this incident and rain terror on our community.”

Those killed were men aged 18 and 36, Mr Edwards said. He did not confirm a television news report that the victims were father and son.

Among the wounded, a man (31) suffered life-threatening injuries and four other males aged 14, 32, 55 and 58 were expected to survive.

The suspect fled on foot and was captured with four handguns, three of which may have been fired, Mr Edwards said.

The mass shooting was the 279th in the United States in the first 157 days of 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, using the definition of four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not including the shooter.