RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Some Richmond Community High School (RCHS) parents are sounding the alarm after students walked into bloody hallways Monday morning.
Pictures shared with WFXR’s sister station, WRIC, show blood splattered around the hallways, in the stairwell and in underwater fountains.
Richmond Police confirm the intruder, Garin Pappas of Warrenton, broke into the high school around 1 a.m. on Sunday, May 15.
Authorities say he smashed windows, injured himself, and then proceeded through many areas of the school. The intrusion caused the school’s security system to be triggered and night security arrived within 15 minutes. Police were then called to the scene.
Pappas was arrested and given medical treatment before being transferred to a local hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. He was cited for trespassing on school property and destruction of property.
However, the concern from parents is that by Monday, May 16, the school was still in hazardous condition.
One parent spoke with WRIC, but did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation from the school.
“Children have been traumatized,” said a Richmond mother, whose daughter goes to Community High. “They said ‘it smelled really bad’ because it had been there for two days.”
“There’s only 200 kids in the school, so I’m not sure why they couldn’t find space to keep everyone away from this blood,” she added.
The mother also raised questions about the timeline of communication. The incident happened around 1 a.m. on Sunday, yet parents were not notified just after 1 p.m. on Monday, four hours into the school day.
In a statement to families, RCHS principal Kenya Massenberg confirms the blood was not cleaned up immediately, adding that some students and staff witnessed ‘evidence from the incident upon returning to the building Monday morning.
The statement also claims the school building was fully secured, cleaned and disinfected by Monday afternoon.
However, another mother shared photos from Tuesday, May 17, showing splatters of blood still covering the brick walls and water fountains.
“I am grateful to the RCHS custodial and other staff for their efforts to quickly ensure a safe, secure and clean environment for our students yesterday,” said Richmond Public Schools spokesperson Sarah Abubaker. “Unfortunately, the cleaning and disinfection was not completed immediately following the incident on Sunday and some students and staff observed remaining evidence of the incident upon return to the building Monday morning. This should not have happened and we apologize for any distress caused to our community.”
“Providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority to Richmond Community High School and Richmond Publis Schools, and we take these incidents very seriously,” Abubaker said. “We will be reviewing our security and custodial protocols to ensure a safe and clean campus for our community.”