Just outside the Virginia Commonwealth University gunfire erupted as the 2023 Huguenot High School concluded their first graduation ceremony on June 6th. When the shots were done ringing out, an 18-year-old who had just graduated and a 36-year-old man both lay dead. Five people were also treated for various and unspecified injuries; two were treated for falls; one minor was hit by a car and suffered non-life-threatening injuries; and nine others received on-scene treatment for other injuries and anxiety.
With multiple handguns recovered on the scene, a single 19-year-old is being charged with first-degree murder.
School board member Jonathan Young spoke with WWBT from Richmond, VA about the events that day. He described what happened when the graduates and their loved ones heard the 20 or so gunshots suddenly ring out rapidly. “That prompted, as you would expect, hundreds of persons in an effort to flee the gunfire to return to the building. It materialized in a stampede.”
Shootings like these have become more prevalent in many schools and cities across the country, and nobody is ready to solve the problem. While many are searching for ways to blame guns, their logic doesn’t work. Their thoughts that banning guns will fix the problems make as much sense as gun-free zones; only those who are willing to obey the law will become unarmed. Those who seek to harm others will still do what they want, and care less about the laws.
For the graduate who lost his young life here and his family, June 6th will serve as a stark reminder of just how short and precious life is. The memory of their loved one getting gunned down just after accomplishing one of the biggest hurdles in many young people’s lives will be a strong and painful one. Given his relationship with the shooter, it’s also fair to say he lived and subsequently died by the gun.