A mass shooting that killed two people at a high school graduation ceremony in Richmond, Virginia, is the 279th such crime in the U.S. in 2023 – with the number of fatalities rising to 345.
Seven people were shot, two fatally, when a lone assailant armed with four handguns opened fire outside a high school graduation ceremony after it had ended in Richmond, Virginia.
The attack happened outside the state capital’s Altria Theatre, in the heart of the Virginia Commonwealth University campus. At least 12 others were injured or treated for anxiety due to the ensuing panic as people fled the scene.
A 19-year-old man, who tried to escape on foot, was arrested and will be charged with two counts of second-degree murder.
The incident marks the 279th mass shooting in the United States in the first 157 days of 2023, as defined by four or more people being shot or killed in a single incident, not including the shooter.
So far this year, there have been 1,459 mass shooting casualties. Ten years ago, during the same period, there were 474 casualties – a rise of 307%.
U.S. Rep. Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat whose district includes Richmond, said, “The gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis that we must address. We cannot continue to live in fear.”