Richmond, Virginia police said Wednesday they stopped a planned July 4th mass shooting after receiving a tip that led to the arrest of two men and the seizure of multiple guns.
The “hero citizen” reportedly overheard a conversation indicating there was an attack being planned on the city’s popular Independence Day celebration and called police to report it, Police Chief Gerald Smith said at a news conference.
The suspects were targeting Dogwood Dell, a local amphitheater.
#BREAKING: Richmond Police say Julio Alvarado had 223 rounds of ammunition in his residence, as he is accused of planning a mass shooting at Dogwood Dell in the City of Richmond on the 4th of July. @NBC12 pic.twitter.com/zIz0JBNxAW
— Simone Cuccurullo (@SimoneCuccTV) July 6, 2022
— The Hill (@thehill) July 6, 2022
Richmond police seized three firearms and 223 rounds of ammunition.
The suspects are Julio Alvarado-Dubon and Rolman Balacarcel — neither of whom are American citizens.
Alvardo-Dubon and Balacarcel were being held without bond at a local jail, the chief said.
It’s unclear how the firearms were required.
From The Hill:
The police chief repeatedly said the “hero citizen” who tipped them off saved countless lives.
“One phone call saved numerous lives on the Fourth of July,” Smith said at the press conference. “The success of this particular investigation can only be juxtaposed against the horrors of which the rest of the country has seen. There is no telling how many lives this hero citizen has saved from one phone call.”
Officers, who also worked with the FBI on the case, arrested and charged Julio Alvarado-Dubon with being a non-U.S. citizen in possession of a firearm on Friday. A second suspect, Rolman Balacarcel, was surveilled by police throughout the holiday weekend and arrested and charged on the same count on Tuesday.
Both suspects, who were roommates, are being held without bond. Police said additional charges may be filed against the pair.
Police said they had evidence the suspects were planning to open fire at Richmond’s July 4th celebration at the Dogwood Dell amphitheatre and a city baseball game.