Shawn Jackson, an 18-year-old graduate and his 36-year-old stepfather, Renzo Smith were killed in Richmond, Virginia, on 6th June 2023 after a high school commencement ceremony. Five other people were injured. In this post, we will look at Shawn Jackson’s death, obituary, his GoFundMe donations and more. Keep reading to find out.
Virginia Graduation Shooting: Shawn Jackson Shot To Death
On Tuesday evening in Richmond, Virginia, a tragic incident unfolded after a high school graduation ceremony, resulting in the deaths of Shawn Jackson, an 18-year-old graduate, and his stepfather, Renzo Smith, aged 36. Additionally, five others were injured during the shooting, as confirmed by the police on Wednesday.
At a press conference, interim Police Chief Rick Edwards announced that a 19-year-old named Amari Pollard was arraigned that morning, facing two counts of second-degree murder. Pollard, who had an ongoing dispute with the 18-year-old victim, specifically targeted him in the attack. The police chief noted that further charges against Pollard were pending.
As of now, Pollard has not retained an attorney and is scheduled to appear in court on June 21, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin. It is worth mentioning that a 9-year-old girl, who was accidentally struck by a car during the chaotic aftermath of the shooting, is related to the family of the deceased victims. Fortunately, her injuries were minor, and she is currently recovering.
The shooter initiated the attack in Monroe Park, situated across the street from the Altria Theater, where the Huguenot High School commencement ceremony was taking place. Hundreds of graduates and guests were present at the park during the incident.
Jason Kamras, the superintendent of Richmond Public Schools, expressed his sorrow over the tragedy, recounting how he had congratulated Shawn just moments before his untimely death. The image of Shawn receiving CPR while still wearing his graduation gown haunts Kamras.
This unfortunate shooting in Richmond adds to the distressing trend of mass shootings in the United States, with the Gun Violence Archive reporting at least 279 such incidents this year alone. A mass shooting is defined by the organization as an event where at least four people, excluding the shooter, sustained gunshot wounds. Richmond now joins a long list of communities across the country grappling with the horror of these tragic incidents, including recent occurrences at a Texas mall, a Tennessee school, a Kentucky bank, and a South Florida beach.
Interim Police Chief Edwards expressed his grief, stating that the location of the shooting, intended to be a safe space, was now tainted by the presence of a firearm and the terror it unleashed upon the community.
The shooting took place shortly before 5:15 p.m., prompting three off-duty officers, who were providing security at the ceremony, to report the gunshots over their radios. Nearby officers on traffic duty promptly responded to the incident. According to Edwards, the initial officers described a rapid exchange of gunfire, which subsided quickly.
The suspect attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended by security officers from the nearby Virginia Commonwealth University in the vicinity of Monroe Park, part of VCU’s Monroe Park campus.
Initially, the police announced the detention of two individuals but later clarified that one of them was not involved in the shooting.
The exact number of firearms used in the shooting remains unclear. On Tuesday night, the police seized four handguns from the scene. However, Edwards stated on Wednesday morning that the suspect had only one gun, while other weapons were recovered from the crime scene.
Responding to a reporter’s inquiry, Edwards mentioned that there appeared to have been an initial interaction before the suspect retrieved the gun from his car and returned to the scene.
The police chief also stated that due to his age, the suspect would not have been legally able to purchase a handgun on his own, further emphasizing the gravity of the situation.
Shawn Jackson Obituary
It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the untimely passing of Shawn Jackson, a remarkable young man whose life was tragically cut short on 6th June 2023. Shawn was just 18 years old at the time of his departure. His sudden loss has left an indescribable void in the lives of his family, friends, and the entire community.
Shawn was a recent graduate and he showcased tremendous dedication and enthusiasm for his studies. He possessed a bright mind and a thirst for knowledge, always striving to expand his horizons. His teachers and peers fondly remember his unwavering commitment to his education and his genuine kindness towards others.
Beyond his academic achievements, Shawn’s charming personality and warm spirit left an everlasting impact on everyone he encountered. He had a remarkable ability to light up any room with his infectious smile and genuine laughter. Those who were fortunate enough to know Shawn closely speak of his unwavering loyalty, his compassion, and his willingness to lend a helping hand.
Outside of the classroom, Shawn had a diverse range of interests and passions. He possessed a deep love for music and had an innate talent for playing the guitar, often mesmerizing those around him with his melodic tunes. He was also an avid sports enthusiast and could often be found playing basketball with his friends, showcasing his athletic prowess and competitive spirit.
Shawn’s departure leaves an immeasurable void in the lives of his beloved family. He was a cherished son, stepson, brother, and friend. His kind and gentle soul brought immeasurable joy to his parents, stepfather, siblings, and extended family members. They will forever cherish the memories of their time spent together, the laughter shared, and the bond they were blessed to experience with Shawn.
In the wake of this devastating tragedy, we gather to remember Shawn and celebrate the beautiful legacy he leaves behind. While his life was cut short far too soon, his impact on our lives will never fade. Shawn will be remembered as a beacon of light, a young man who touched the hearts of those around him and brought joy to their lives.
The loss of Shawn Jackson is a painful reminder of the fragility of life and the need to cherish every precious moment we have with our loved ones. In this time of grief, let us come together to support one another and remember Shawn’s vibrant spirit, his zest for life, and the love he shared so freely.
A memorial service will be held to honour the memory of Shawn Jackson. All those whose lives he has touched are invited to attend and pay their respects.
Shawn, you will forever remain in our hearts. Your beautiful soul will continue to inspire us to live life to the fullest, to spread love and kindness, and to make a positive difference in the world, just as you did during your time with us. May you rest in eternal peace.
“With tears in our eyes and pain in our hearts, we say goodbye. You will be deeply missed.”
Shawn Jackson GoFundMe
To help with funeral arrangements, some friends and well-wishers are donating on GoFundMe to Shawn Jackson. Details of the account can be found on social media.