New details on Richmond graduation mass shooting expected this week
‘We’re pretty close to being able to give a bigger update,’ the acting police chief says
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Police Department Acting Chief Rick Edwards is promising an update later this week on the investigation into a graduation mass shooting.
It comes as the department is also kicking off Operation Safe Summer, a partnership aimed at curbing gun violence in the city.
“We’re pretty close to being able to give a bigger update later this week,” Edwards said.
Edwards says the department is hoping to shed more light on the investigation into the shooting that killed two and left many more injured in and around Monroe Park earlier this month.
“We will have more of an update later this week, but we certainly, we believe there’s even more video out there,” Edwards said. “We know people were taking pictures. We have that site up with the FBI.”
Edwards says new technology for the department, like a firearms testing machine, is speeding up investigations, including work on high-profile shootings.
“The speed in which getting those leads back is really important,” Edwards said. “Previously, we’d send them to the lab and get them back months later to see if that gun is connected to another crime.”
Overall, violence is down 7% compared to last year. But four shootings over the holiday weekend and the incident outside the Altria Theater are painting a different perception.
The chief says that violence interrupters, now called community mediators, are also helping to quell the violence, especially in cases like the mass shooting.
“Certainly, the families of those who were affected by that directly were upset, so I think that was a good opportunity to send those mediators to the hospital to speak to the community and say, ‘please let the Richmond Police Department do their job,’ and we want to get justice at John Marshall Court, not in Hillside Court,” Edwards said.
Meanwhile, 10 days into Operation Safe Summer, Edwards says they’ve already seen success. The department reports that 24 illegal firearms have been taken off city streets.
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