Huguenot High School Graduation Shooting Report Reveals Unauthorized Student Participation

RICHMOND, Va. – A report from the Richmond City School Board has shed light on details surrounding the tragic mass shooting at Huguenot High School’s graduation ceremony last year. Two people, including an 18-year-old student named Shawn Jackson, lost their lives in the incident.

The report revealed that Jackson did not have authorization to participate in the graduation ceremony and had not attended any of the practices leading up to the event. It also identified significant safety risks that had been associated with Jackson in the past.

Following a civil lawsuit filed by local media outlets and Joshua Stanfield, the Richmond City School Board released the report. This action was prompted by a refusal to release the entire report, which was seen as a violation of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act.

The shooting, which occurred on June 6, 2023, resulted in seven injuries and two fatalities. The decision to release the report came after a judge ruled that the school board failed to prove the entire report fell within attorney-client privilege.

The report highlighted security issues related to Jackson, including concerns about neighborhood violence and his mental health. It also brought attention to the then-principal of Huguenot High School, describing him as “checked-out” and “unfit” for the position.

In response to the judge’s decision, multiple school board members, including Superintendent Jason Kamras and Board Chair Stephanie Rizzi, submitted a joint statement welcoming the release of the report. Meanwhile, the former principal, Robert Gilstrap, is no longer employed with Richmond City Public Schools and has sought legal counsel.

The findings of the report provide valuable insights into the circumstances surrounding the tragic shooting, shedding light on the challenges and issues that were present at the school. As the details continue to unfold, the community awaits further updates on the aftermath of this devastating event.