2 dead, 7 injured in US high school graduation ceremony shooting

Photo: cnn.com
WASHINGTON. KAZINFORM Two people died and seven others were injured on Tuesday in a shooting during a high school graduation ceremony in Virginia, local authorities reported.

An 18-year-old student and a 36-year-old man attending the ceremony were killed in the attack, the acting police chief of Richmond, the state’s capital, Rick Edwards, said at a press conference, EFE reports.

Authorities have already arrested a suspect – a 19-year-old male -, whom they are seeking to charge with two counts of second-degree murder, Edwards added.

Police believe the suspect knew at least one of the victims.

Among the injured is a nine-year-old girl, who was hit by a car and is being treated at a local hospital, the acting police chief said.

Several police officers who were inside the building where the graduation was being held heard gunfire at around 5:30 pm, Edwards added.

The officers then went outside, where they found the wounded.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney offered his condolences to the victims and their families during the same press conference.

He said that the shooting was «tragic, but also traumatic because this is their graduation day.»

«Is nothing sacred any longer? … This should not be happening anywhere, a child should be able to go to their graduation and walk at their graduation and enjoy the accomplishment with their friends and their families,» he added.

A total of 279 mass shootings have been reported in the country this year, according to nonprofit Gun Violence Archive.