A “hero citizen” alerted authorities about mass shooting plot that had been planned for a July Fourth celebration in Richmond, Virginia, according to Richmond Police Department Chief Gerald Smith.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Smith said that the individual overheard a discussion about the plot and tipped off authorities. Firearms and ammunition were seized at a residence, the chief noted.
Two men, Julio Alvardo-Dubon and Rolman Balacarcel, have been charged as non-citizens in possession of a firearm. (The one man’s name is spelled Alvarado-Dubon in some media reports, but the police press release spells the name as Alvardo-Dubon).
The two individuals are from Guatemala, police spokesperson Tracy Walker noted, according to the Associated Press. The outlet reported that initial documents filed in General District Court in Richmond indicated that the individuals are not in the country lawfully — the materials indicate that Alvardo-Dubon holds an expired visa, according to the AP.
“I want to thank and applaud the hero in Virginia that stopped a potential massacre by alerting our brave Richmond Police Department Officers that work tirelessly every day to protect our communities,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Younkin (R) said in tweet. “Its a great reminder that if you see something, say something to your local PD.”
While the Richmond shooting plot was prevented, Highland Park, Illinois, was recently rocked by a deadly shooting on Independence Day that resulted in seven casualties and even more people being wounded — a 21-year-old man has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
On Monday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, declared, “Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don’t think a single one of them would’ve said that you have a Constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine, or that that is more important than the right of the people who attended this parade today to live.”