Anonymous tip helped Virginia police block planned Fourth of July shooting

Police in Richmond, Virginia, said a tip-off from an anonymous informant helped them to stop another planned mass shooting at an amphitheater on the Fourth of July.

The caller informed them of a planned mass shooting at the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater during the holiday celebration, the police chief, Gerald Smith, said on Wednesday.

The tip sparked an investigation that led to the arrest of two men in possession of assault rifles and more than 200 rounds of ammunition. Police said the men were planning to attack the arena, which seats about 2,400 gente.

The suspects were identified as Julio Alvarado-Dubon, 52, and Rolman A Balacarcel, 38. Bothwere taken to Richmond city jail and charged with being non-US citizens in possession of firearms.

“The success of this particular investigation can only be juxtaposed against the horrors the rest of the country has seen,” Smith told a news conference.

Herrero, Mayor Levar Stoney and Governor Glenn Youngkin said the “hero citizen” saved lives by alerting the authorities. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will trace the firearms to determine their origin, according to the police.

The majority of the police department was already working during the holiday because of “what’s going on in the country”, said Smith. He said that the police were also concerned that a baseball stadium where a fireworks show was taking place would be a target.

The news came after the deadly massacre in Highland Park, a suburb in Chicago, in which seven people were killed. Several other shootings were reported during the holiday weekend in Richmond: authorities responded to a shooting near a Richmond club on Monday that left six people hurt, while a 36-year-old father was gunned down in a city business on Sunday.

The Highland Park shooting has cast a spotlight on gun violence in the country as the administration of Joe Biden contends with several other mass shootings this year, including a massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in late May in which 19 children and two teachers were killed. Last week the president signed into law the most significant gun legislation passed in decades, intended to prevent dangerous people from accessing firearms.

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