Cousins! Following the tragic Richmond, Virginia high school graduation shooting from earlier this week, officials have confirmed the identity of the two deceased victims as being a graduate and his stepfather!
According to reports from ABC News, the gunman identified as Ameri Ty-John Pollard, 19 watched the Huguenot High School graduation ceremony and then walked to his vehicle where he grabbed a firearm and returned to the venue.
Ameri is said to had targeted Huguenot High School graduate Shawn Jackson, 18, while also shooting his stepfather, Renzo Smith, 36. Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards says Ameri and Shawn knew each other and that the two had an, “ongoing dispute”.
“This was targeted at one individual,” said Chief Edwards.
“I didn’t know Shawn, but I shook his hand and wished him congratulations about 20 minutes before he died,” Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras said at Wednesday’s news conference. “Those who did know Shawn described him as bubbly and the life of the party.”
“Getting to the graduation stage was not easy for Shawn, nevertheless, he did it, and he was rightly proud, smiling and celebrating like all of his peers,” said Kamras. “Then, just a few minutes later while enjoying the moment with his family in Monroe Park, he was gunned down. I can’t shake the image of him receiving CPR on the ground, still in his graduation gown.”
Shawn’s aunt Datrell Glover says he was very excited to graduate from high school, she says he had dreams of entering the music industry as a rapper.
“I can’t believe this happy moment was ruined like this,” she said. “The violence has to stop.”
Ameri remains in police custody in connection to the shooting as he is facing charges for two counts of second degree murder.
Cousins, please continue to keep the victims and their families in your prayers.
Shawn’s nine year old sister was hit by a car and hospitalized with non life threatening injuries following the tragic incident says police.
Authorities report that a total of five people have been shot, confirming four adults and a 14-year-old boy. A 31-year-old male is in the hospital in critical condition while; the other four victims have suffered non-life-threatening injures.
As we previously reported the tragic incident took place around 5 p.m. in Monroe Park, near Virginia Commonwealth University on Tuesday. The shooting took place near the Altria Theater, as a series of graduations were scheduled to take place,
It has been stated that Students in graduation gowns could be seen amongst a crowd of attendees running away.