Coming after the news of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Richmond Police received a tip about a potential mass shooting on July 4 and were able to thwart the attack before it happened.
In a report from Fox News, Richmond police say the tip led to the seizure assault rifles, a handgun, and rounds of ammunition from a residence on Columbia Street. The news comes after a July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, left seven people dead and dozens more injured. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and police Chief Gerald Smith addressed the alleged plot during a press conference Wednesday.
“Our officers quietly investigated and collaborated to stop what could have been a terrible day for the city of Richmond,” Stoney said. “No community is immune [from mass shootings].”
The suspect in that case, Robert E. Crimo III, may have shown previous signs that he was plotting an attack, but red flag laws in the state were not able to thwart the massacre.
Dogwood Dell was identified as the primary target for the planned shooting, Stoney said, but chief Smith said that The Diamond was also a site of concern for authorities on the holiday.
“A hero citizen picked up the phone and called our brave men and women at the second precinct,” Smith said.
Chief Smith said two assault rifles, one handgun and ammunition were seized from the residence. The suspects, identified as 52-year-old Julio Alvardo-Dubon and 38-year-old Rolman A. Balacarcel, were arrested and charged with possessing a firearm as a non-U.S. citizen.
Smith said other agencies, including Homeland Security and the FBI, were critical for assisting in the investigation. “They were planning to shoot up our Fourth of July celebrations,” Chief Smith said.
Alvardo-Dubon and Balacarcel are in Richmond City Jail and are being held without bond, Smith said Wednesday.