Richmond school board rejects motion to release graduation shooting report

A third-party investigation report in the Huguenot High School graduation is causing concern for some Richmond Public School Board members.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:41 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 5:00 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond School Board members rejected a motion to release a third-party investigation report detailing the events leading up to the Huguenot High School graduation shooting.

Jonathan Young, representing the city’s 4th District, has demanded that the report be shown to the public.

The board’s attorney, however, advises not to release it.

On Monday night, the board rejected Young’s motion to release the report from Sands Anderson law firm.

“It will probably invite litigation, that is how bad it is,” Young said of the report.

Sands Anderson has been digging into the shooting that killed two people and how something like this could have happened during such a joyous occasion.

On June 6, when Huguenot’s graduation was wrapping up at Altria Theater, gunfire broke out. 18-year-old Shawn Jackson and his 36-year-old stepfather Renzo Smith were killed. Five others were injured.

The suspect, Amari Pollard, faces a first-degree murder charge in Jackson’s death.

Young says the results of the investigation are “heartbreaking.”

“The content will either one, make folks cry and/or two, scream at the top of their lungs,” he said.

Young says the public deserves to know what happened that day and what led up to the school and that parents deserve to know that students will be safe.

“And particularly all of those people that were at the Altria Theater, my heavens,” he said. “I’m unsure how any school board member can look them in the eye and say, no, I’m sorry, you don’t have a right to look at that report.”

On Monday, the school board rejected the motion to release the report to the public 6-2, with one member abstaining.

“The School Board again failed the test,” Young said. “Like the Loudon School Board, I expect that the courts will rightly veto my colleagues’ decision.”