Bishop Knestout statement following shooting after graduation

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene after a gunman opened fire in a park in Richmond, Va., June 6, 2023, as high school graduates and their families emerged from a theater where commencement exercises had just concluded. At least two people were killed and five others wounded, the city’s interim police chief said. (OSV News photo/Clark Frierson, Instagram @by.esign/via Reuters)

Two people were killed, and five others injured, in a shooting outside Altria Theater in downtown Richmond on June 6. It happened after a graduation ceremony for Huguenot High School, causing a chaotic scene for families.

Interim Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards said a 19-year-old suspect was arrested and will be charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Police said one of the victims was an 18-year-old boy who had just graduated. The other was a 36-year-old man who was attending the graduation. Police believe the suspect knew at least one of the victims.

Bishop Barry C. Knestout issued a statement following the shooting:


“Yesterday a violent shooting occurred, this time following a Richmond public high school graduation, resulting in the loss of life and multiple injuries.

“Seven months after an act of gun violence took the lives of three University of Virginia college students, we, in our diocese, are faced with another wrenching act of violence.

“This callous act and subsequent chaotic, terrorizing scene occurred just yards away from our Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, causing fear and pandemonium for so many leaving the ceremony. What should have been a day of celebration for families and of student achievements – instead is marred by gun violence.

“Words fail to fully express the trauma so many experienced yesterday, and the lives crushed because of it. However, I am immensely grateful for our law enforcement community who, despite the chaos, were there to respond swiftly and bring order to a confusing scene.

“In this month of June, in which we celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus, may our Lord bring consolation and healing to the lives affected and suffering because of yesterday’s violence. May he hold their broken hearts in his.”


Scroll to Top