One day after authorities in Virginia took a victory lap for thwarting a mass shooting at Dogwood Dell on Independence Day, a local TV station is reporting on new contradictory statements from police.
"The Richmond Police Department has refused to share crucial evidence to verify its claim that a mass shooting was planned on Independence Day. The arrests made in connection to the reported plot have turned into an international incident," Ben Dennis reported for WRIC-TV. "One day after the city’s police chief said a 'hero citizen' called officers about a conversation overheard about the plan for violence, a spokesperson and attorney for the department declined 8News’ request to listen to any possible audio of the call and to physically see the firearms police said were seized."
Julio Alvarado-Dubon, 52, and Rolman Balacarcel, 38, were arrested on firearms charges.
The network reported police spokesperson Tracy Walker would not say why the "anonymous" call was deemed "credible."
"Both Chief [Gerald] Smith and Mayor Levar Stoney have said that the mass shooting plot was intended for the crowd gathered at Dogwood Dell, a public parks space that includes an amphitheater," the network reported. "However, Walker said the “anonymous” caller did not specify any location as part of the plot. Police declined to share if officers followed up with the caller and received information to verify their claim and learn more about the alleged plan for violence."
Dennis further reported that Guatemala is requesting consular interviews with the two men, who are Guatemalan.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has "lodged an immigration detainer" on the men.
NEW: After Richmond police alleged an anonymous tip about a planned mass shooting lead them to arrest two Guatemalan men, RPD denies our FOIA request to listen to any audio that may exist related to this call/caller. They also denied my request to see the guns allegedly seized. pic.twitter.com/lIArRrnYrh
— Ben Dennis 8News (@broadcastben_) July 7, 2022
\u201c\u201cHowever, Walker said the \u2018anonymous\u2019 caller did not specify any location as part of the plot.\u201d This is not what the Richmond mayor and police chief said in a news conference yesterday, when they released certain evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation.\u201d— Patrick Wilson (@Patrick Wilson) 1657244236