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Students were filming video using guns as props when 13-year-old was killed, superintendent says

School board member: 'I don't know that it's ever been this bad. I really don't.'
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Posted at 8:44 PM, Mar 11, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- One Richmond middle school student was killed and three other students were injured in two separate shootings on Richmond's Southside Friday night.

A 13-year-old boy was killed in what Mayor Levar Stoney called an "accidental" shooting just before 10 p.m. inside a home on Stockton Street, a few blocks from Richmond Highway, according to officials with Richmond Police. That victim was a seventh-grader at Binford Middle School.

In an email to school board members obtained by CBS 6, Superintendent Jason Kamras said the child and other students were filming a video and using guns as props when one went off and killed him.

A neighbor said she did not know something had happened until police came to her door.

"It's a terrible shame that something like that would happen," she said.

Authorities have not said how the children got the weapon, but in statements offering condolences Stoney and Kamras urged gun owners to properly secure their firearms.

"We have too many damn guns in our community. Guns that are too easily accessible by our children and result in tragedies, like what occurred last night," Stoney wrote. "If you own a gun, I am begging you, lock it up so that we can prevent unnecessary loss that will be felt for a lifetime."

While the 13-year-old's name has not been released, the mayor said his hearts breaks for the Nash-Mitchell family.

Halifax Avenue shooting near Oak Grove playground
Halifax Avenue shooting near Oak Grove playground

Then later Friday night, less than a mile away on Halifax Avenue and next to Oak Grove playground, three Richmond Public Schools students were injured in a shooting. One was shot and two were grazed by bullets.

Two of those students attend Richmond Alternative School while the other attends Armstrong High School, according to Kamras.

"I don't know that it's ever been this bad. I really don't," Richmond School Board member Jonathan Young said.

Young, who represents the 4th district, said in the short-term the school system will play the role of consoler and resources will be available at schools on Monday.

"First and foremost, our responsibility relates to our students welfare," Young said. "And, of course, in addition to their physical welfare, it's their social emotional welfare."

But long-term Young said he is calling on his colleagues on the board to take a stronger discipline approach to violence in schools.

"We need to stop tolerating the intolerable," Young said. "We need to acknowledge that what we are permitting to happen in our schools manifests in the community."

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Read superintendent's student shootings email to families

Richmond School Board member Jonathan Young
Jonathan Young

After the Stockton Street neighbor learned about the Halifax shooting, she said there are too many guns on the streets with people too willing to use them to settle disputes.

"It's not like a video game where you, you know, you can get up and bounce back and 'OK, let's do it again,'" she said. "It's final, it's permanent."

Authorities said that while they are not looking for suspects in the Stockton shooting, officers are asking for anyone with information about the Halifax shooting to come forward.

If you have information that could help detectives, call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or submit a tip online at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All three Crime Stoppers methods of contact are anonymous.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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