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Richmond Police arrest 'small group' of protestors after gunshots

Posted at 11:38 AM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 12:21:22-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Police announced officers made seven arrests early Wednesday morning following a day and night of peaceful protests in the city.

“Unfortunately, just after midnight, small groups of protesters broke away from the main group. We then began receiving reports of random gunfire in various areas – a few blocks from the remaining demonstrators,” a Richmond Police spokesperson said. “Officers responded quickly, stopped multiple cars believed to be involved, and engaged in a foot pursuit.”

Officers reported finding empty vehicles with bullet holes along the 500 block of West Grace Street

In addition to the seven arrests, police said officers recovered:

  • Five handguns
  • Two sets of ballistic body armor
  • Two gas masks
  • Accelerants and bottles

Richmond Police have not released the names of those arrested but said two of the seven had home addresses listed within city limits.

“Officers are working tirelessly to ensure the City of Richmond is safe for its citizens,” the police spokesperson said. “ Peaceful demonstrators continue to be infiltrated by those with destructive and/or potentially violent intent – many of whom are not from Richmond.”

Prior to the arrests, police said the protests on Tuesday were “mostly peaceful.”

"Demonstrations began early yesterday evening and went until approximately midnight – with a smaller group continuing to protest a little longer. We thank the protesters who adhered to the curfew order, which expired today at 6 a.m.,” the spokesperson continued. “We will continue to respect the rights of those who want to peacefully protest, but will protect our city from those who seek to harm our residents and damage property.”

APTOPIX America Protests Richmond
In this photo taken with a drone, a large group of protesters gather around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue near downtown Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Richmond, Va. The crowd protesting police brutality chanted "Tear it down." (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

On Monday night and again on Tuesday morning, Richmond Police apologized after officers launched tear gas into a crowd of peaceful protestors surrounding the Lee monument. A similar protest Tuesday night was held without incident.