Parents believe text message led to Richmond school bus shooting

Posted at 11:03 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-02 11:10:04-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A fight on a school bus lead to shots fired Wednesday afternoon in Richmond’s East End, according to Richmond Police.

Police are still investigating what triggered the gunfire at Bus 74, but parents said it was a student on the bus who sent a text message to someone, urging that person to show up with a weapon.

"As a mom I am devastated. I am outraged because this is ridiculous. I am sick of it, my daughter could've been killed on the bus,” Sheniqua Thompkins said.

Sheniqua Thompkins

She was furious that someone would unleash such firepower. Her daughter’s school bus was riddled with bullet holes.

"Something has to be done about this ASAP," Thompkins said.

At least a dozen students were on the bus, school officials said, when four bullets ripped through its side.

"He yanked her down,” said a woman who asked us to hide her identity.

She said her niece was the closest call.

"I guess he saw when they were about to shoot so he yanked her down and the bullet when through.”

No one was hit, but parents said they believed the violence was an answer to a text sent from someone riding the bus, to juveniles in the community to “be ready” when the bus came to a stop at the corner of Sussex and Whitcomb Streets.

"Kids should be able to go to school and come home safely,” added Thompkins.

School officials agree.

"These are students, young men and women who have been at school, hopefully having a good educational day and working towards achieving goals and aspirations, we shouldn't be coming home to worry about bullets and this kind of incident,” Interim Richmond School Superintendent Tommy Kranz said.

The incident that has rattled the nerves of parents in Mosby Court, has many demanding that city leaders wake up.

"Mayor Levar, please do something, this has to stop,” said Thompkins. “These are kids. They have a chance at life and do what’s right in the world and live productively, not be shot at and have to worry about being killed. Not innocent children."

Forensic officers and detectives combed the bus for clues. Their job was made harder by the fact that the camera-video system on Bus 74 apparently was not in working order.

Police have not yet released information about the shooting suspects, nor a motive.



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