A graduation ceremony is meant to be cause for celebration, a moment teenagers across the country look forward to.
But for many, this year’s celebrations were marred by deadly shootings that left two dead and four others injured.
Nowhere was this violence more evident than on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro on Wednesday night.
One person died while another was seriously injured after a shooting that took place after graduating from Riverdale High School.
Witnesses said they heard between six and eight shots.
It was not immediately known whether the victims were students.
However, law enforcement believe the incident may have stemmed from an argument between two men.
Riverdale’s opening ceremony for 450 seniors started at 7 p.m. and was over, and people were leaving when the shooting took place.
The high school was closed on Thursday as a precaution.
This deadly shooting came less than a week after a shooting before a high school graduation in Arkansas killed one and injured three others.
The shooting happened last Thursday night outside the Hot Springs Convention Center, which was hosting a graduation ceremony for Hot Springs World Class High School.
Authorities have not said what led to the fight, but Hot Springs School District Superintendent Stephanie Nehus said in a statement that no current students or alumni were involved.
Hot Springs police officers and Garland County legislators were reportedly attempting to defuse the situation when a lone gunman began firing into the crowd.
A second shooting in North Little Rock, Arkansas, was reported Wednesday night before a graduation ceremony at Simmons Bank Arena.
No injuries were reported, but students and their parents have been warned to stay indoors.
And the alleged Buffalo shooter had also spoken out about conducting a shooting at a graduation ceremony, according to The Buffalo News.
Payton Gendron is said to have gunned down 10 people at the Tops Friendly Markets store on Saturday afternoon.
School officials described him as a “very concerned young man,” prompting state police to investigate him under a section of the mental health statute.
He was then referred for a psychological evaluation and counseling.
The teenager pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Then Senator Andrew Gounardes tweeted Thursday: “According to the NYPD, they have arrested a suspect who they believe made multiple bomb threats against Fort Hamilton High School this week.
“He’s an 18-year-old student at the school.”
Now Arkansas officials are looking at ways to prevent such violence.
They provide conflict resolution skills in schools across the state.
Mum Nickey Nichols told Fox 16 she was “a little nervous” about her own son’s graduation.
But she said the conflict resolution program she’s helping run means he’s “better equipped to make decisions and not react.”
She added: “It’s part of us to take care of the whole child. Not just the academic piece.”
The North Little Rock School District said it was “already working with the North Little Rock Police Department, administration and other stakeholders to take additional steps to prevent what happened from happening again.”
In June last year, three people were shot dead and five others injured after a shootout broke out outside a hookah lounge where youngsters were celebrating a graduation ceremony.
Two other teenagers were killed at different graduation ceremonies that same year.
By the time ABC was reporting how New Jersey was gearing up for graduation ceremonies, there were potential shooting targets.
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, told the outlet, “Graduations should be celebrations, not bloodbaths.
“Our nation’s weak gun laws allow gun violence at parties, places of work, places of worship, and other places where we should be safe.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5372748/graduation-day-shootings-school-threat/ Fears of graduation day shooting are rising after two were killed and four injured at school celebrations, as experts warn of a threat