Richmond graduation shooting: Who is Amari Ty-John Pollard? Suspect shot & killed son and father, in custody

In the Richmond graduation shooting, (Left)Shawn Jackson, 18, and (Right)Renzo Smith, 36, died.

(Source: Facebook)

Following the graduation ceremony in downtown Richmond, Virginia, Shawn Jackson, 18, who had just gotten his diploma, and his father Renzo Smith were shot and murdered when a shooter opened fire as they gathered in a park. Keep reading to more about Richmond graduation shooting in detail.


Richmond graduation shooting: 

In Richmond, Virginia, a shooter opened fire following a high school graduation ceremony on Tuesday, killing an 18-year-old student who had just received his high school diploma and his father, according to authorities and a family member.

Following the Huguenot High School graduation ceremony on Tuesday, a shooting outside the city-owned Altria Theatre in the state capital left five other people injured and hundreds of people running away in fear.

Four other guys, aged between 14 and 58, suffered non-critical wounds, while one shooting victim, 31, was hospitalised on Tuesday night with life-threatening injuries. A 9-year-old girl was struck by a car while trying to escape the mass shooting and several other people suffered injuries. She is anticipated to live.

Disturbing video footage from the incident outside the Altria Theatre on campus depicts Huguenot High School students applauding and grinning just before a hail of gunshots. Students and their loved ones flee for their life as soon as shots start to ring out in the background.

The shooting happened after Huguenot High School’s graduation, which was planned for 4 p.m. at the Altria Theatre, according to the school’s website.

Authorities in Richmond, Virginia report that seven persons were shot after a high school commencement ceremony at a downtown theatre close to Virginia Commonwealth University. (Source:

The gunshot, according to police, happened at Monroe Park around 5:13 p.m. All district schools will be closed on Wednesday, according to a statement on Richmond Public Schools’ website, and all high school graduation ceremonies this week have been postponed.

Jason Kamras, the superintendent of Richmond Public Schools, broke down in tears while discussing the shooting at a press conference while donning a black graduation robe.

Kamras said,

“I’m tired of seeing people get shot, our kids get shot, and I beg of the entire community to stop,” 

“To just stop. Our kids can’t take it. Our teachers can’t take it. Our families can’t take it anymore. I beg of you to stop.”

According to Virginia Commonwealth University, the neighborhood is not currently under threat. “Graduations should be times of happiness and celebration,” the university president wrote in a tweet, adding that “today’s shooting is heart-wrenching and shocking.”

In Richmond, Virginia, on June 6, 2023, as high school graduates and their families were leaving a theatre where commencement rites had just ended, a shooter started fire in a park. Law enforcement personnel and first responders were on the site. (Source:


Who are the victims?

According to Tameeka Jackson-Smith, the graduate’s mother, Shawn Jackson, 18, and his stepfather, Renzo Smith, 36, died in the shooting at Monroe Park on Tuesday afternoon at 5 o’clock.

She claimed that during the ensuing confusion, she and Smith’s nine-year-old daughter was struck by a car. After receiving medical attention for leg injuries, the young woman was discharged.

Jackson-Smith claimed that as the family left the graduation, they got separated in the large crowd. “He was so happy — oh my God — because he got to graduate. He worked hard.”

She claimed that when she approached her husband and son in a nearby park to reconnect, a gunman suddenly ran up behind them and began firing.

She said,

“I don’t know if he was shooting at everybody because so many people got shot all over in the area. There were like seven people on the ground.”

Following the Huguenot High School graduation ceremony on Tuesday, a shooting outside the Altria Theatre in the state capital left five other people, ranging in age from 14 to 58, injured. One or more of them are in severe condition, while the others just suffered minor injuries. Police report that at least 12 additional people were hurt or sought treatment for anxiety as a result of the chaos.


Suspect: Who is Amari Ty-John Pollard?

At a press conference, Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards stated that there appeared to be a continuous argument between the suspect, Ameri Ty-John Pollard, and Jackson.

According to authorities, Pollard allegedly watched the commencement ceremony before going to his car, pulling out a handgun, and opening fire as people started leaving the Altria Theatre about 5:15 p.m.

Amari Pollard was charged with two counts of second-degree murder on Wednesday morning, according to Richmond’s top prosecutor Colette McEachin, who wrote to The Associated Press. The case was postponed by the court until a hearing later this month when Pollard indicated he would retain legal counsel, according to McEachin.

It was decided to hold Pollard without bond. There was no attorney listed in court records who could speak for him at this time. The culprit may have known at least one victim, according to the police.

Police report that at least 12 additional people were hurt or sought treatment for anxiety as a result of the chaos.


GoFundMe Page

A memorial fund had been established for Shawn Jackson, 18 years old, and Renzo Smith, 36 years old. This fundraiser is being organized by Bre’Ona Hunte on Tameeka Jackson’s behalf.

It read,

“Of the lives that were heinously taken was graduate “Shawn Jackson” along with his Father “Renzo Smith”. Shawn’s sister Rennyah Jackson-Smith was the 9 year old that was struck by a motor vehicle and is now Wheel Chair bound. This GoFundMe will serve as assistance for the unexpected expenses, grief counseling, medical bills and financial assistance for the family through this tragic time.

Our hearts are breaking for the victims and survivors of the mass shooting that transpired today it has left a traumatic memory for all. All proceeds with be given to Tameeka Jackson-Smith the mother and wife of the victims. Thank you for help.”

End #gunviolence in Virginia

Many people expressed their outrage on Twitter.

Winsome Earle-Sears, the lieutenant governor of Virginia, spoke to media on Tuesday close to the shooting scene,

“The people that I represent are not safe—they’re not safe in this city, and we have to figure out why that is,

This is not about law-abiding gun owners, this is about gangs,”

“When do we say enough is enough?”

Democratic party members, including Virginia state senator Ghazala Hashmi, criticised Earle-Sears’ remarks.

Hashmi wrote in a Twitter post,

“Days after 19 children & 2 adults were killed in Uvalde, Sears went to TX to defend the NRA, Now just mere minutes after a mass shooting in our city, she is on tv to inflict more trauma. ‘The people I [with emphasis] represent are not safe,’ she says. She’s ready to defend guns.”


Community Grieves

The shooting at the high school graduation at the Altria Theatre on Tuesday night is mourned by the Richmond Hill community. They expressed their sadness at the loss of life and the anguish caused to their entire metropolitan community with sighs that were too profound for words.

Levar Stoney, the mayor of Richmond, expressed his fury that his neighborhood had become the next victim of gun violence.

Stoney said,

“This is tragic, but also traumatic. Because this is their graduation day,”

“Is nothing sacred any longer?

“A child should be able to go to their graduation and walk up to graduation and enjoy the accomplishment with their friends and their families.”

Flowers and streaks of blood mark the location of the shootings at Monroe Park on June 7, 2023, in Richmond, Virginia, which happened after the Huguenot High School graduation ceremony. (Source:

The news of Shawn Jackson and Renzo Smith’s passing has understandably devastated their family and friends, and condolences have poured in from all over the neighborhood. Many people have expressed their sympathies and offered support to the deceased loved ones on social media during this difficult period.

We send our sympathies to Shawn Jackson and Renzo Smith’s family and friends during this difficult time.


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