Richmond police provide update on graduation shooting investigation

Seven people were shot, and two were killed moments after the Huguenot High School graduation earlier this month.
Published: Jun. 23, 2023 at 5:25 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2023 at 4:35 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Police Department released new information about the deadly mass shooting in Monroe Park earlier this month.

The shooting happened shortly after Huguenot High School’s graduation ceremony outside the Altria Theatre on June 6, where 18-year-old Shawn Jackson and his stepfather, 36-year-old Lorenzo Smith, were killed, and five others were also shot.

19-year-old Amari Ty-Jon Pollard has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and is currently being held without bond.

In a video released Friday afternoon, Interim RPD Chief Rick Edwards gave updates on the incident.

Edwards said that the final remaining victim, that suffered a gunshot wound, will be released from the hospital and is on the road to recovery.

Edwards also addressed a second subject that was detained on the night of the shooting.

“We’ve been able to exclude him based upon witness statements, as well as video evidence that he was not directly involved in the incident,” Edwards said.

Investigators also believe that there were no weapons brought inside the Altria Theater during the course of the ceremony and that there was no gang activity involved in the case, he added.

Police have previously said that Pollard and Jackson knew each other and had an ongoing dispute that lasted about a year.

Edwards said that after reviewing the evidence and consultation with the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, he would not be able to provide some information that the public was looking for, including ballistics and weapon details.

“We have to balance the public’s right to know about this very important case with the eventual court case that is coming, and it’s a delicate balance that we have to find that right happy medium, Edwards said. “It’s my goal to not do anything that could jeopardize the eventual criminal case.”

At the time of the shooting, police said they recovered four guns in total. Two have been accounted for so far publicly. Investigators are working to determine how many guns were used and account for all bullets.

Edwards requested that anyone at the ceremony that suffered injury call the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney’s Victim Witness Services at (804) 646-7665. Anyone with video is also asked to call the police as they continue their investigation.

Watch Edwards’ full statement here:

Acting Police Cheif Rick Edwards says investigators are working hard to determine all the details of that day.