Richmond School Board moves forward with third-party investigation of graduation shooting

The Richmond School Board approved hiring a third party to investigate what led up to the deadly graduation shooting outside of the Altria Theater on June 6.
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:12 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond School Board is moving forward with a third-party investigation on what led up to the deadly graduation shooting outside of the Altria Theater on June 6.

Richmond school leaders were fired up Monday night over what they know and still don’t know about the mass shooting outside the Altria theater following the Huguenot High School graduation ceremony.

“I would like an investigation at the school level, and you can do that as the superintendent,” school board member, Mariah White, said.

A number of board members at the meeting argued there were still too many questions unanswered and that they did not receive an investigation report.

Superintendent Jason Kamras fired back.

”You were given a report. If there are items that you would like additional information on, I am happy to provide them to you to the extent that I can,” Kamras said. “ I cannot abide a public claim that you were not provided with an investigation report because it is simply not true, and I would request other members of this body to verify that that is not true.”

Dr. Shonda Harris-Muhammed, however, introduced a motion to move forward with a third-party review.

”I move that the Richmond School Board authorizes the superintendent to present for review and approval two options of companies that can complete a third-party investigation of the June 6th, 2023 school mass shooting,” Harris-Muhammed said.

The request asks the superintendent to report all graduation day operations, including procedures for all students and guests, including written statements from staff involved with the June 6 preparations, and a breakdown of the homebound program.

The program Huguenot High School 18-year-old Shawn Jackson was in before he was killed.

White proposed an amendment in case the information is not presented.

“Mr. Kamras should be suspended from his duties if we do not receive this investigation,” White said.

White later withdrew her amendment.

Some against the third-party investigation argue this should be left up to the police.

“We have a mother who lost her son and her husband, and we have other persons who were shot,” school board member Cheryl Burke said. “I am in favor of letting the police, not letting it’s their job. That’s what they get paid to do to take care of that investigation.”

The motion passed with four votes in favor, two against, and one abstained.

”It is not about RPD and the Commonwealth’s Attorney. It is about how we run the operations in our school division,” Harris-Muhammed said. “We have the funds if we can purchase 40 vans and this and that and this and that we can set aside funding to have a third party investigation because we cannot police ourselves.”

Kamras will have to present the findings to the board by its second meeting in October.