Suspect in alleged Fourth of July mass shooting plot being held without bond
One of two suspects police say were allegedly planning a mass shooting on the Fourth of July is being held in custody without bond.
On Monday, a judge denied bond for 38-year-old Rolman Balacarcel at his arraignment.
Balacarcel and Julio Alvarado-Dubon, 52, have both been charged with being a noncitizen in possession of a firearm. Their next hearing dates are Aug. 3 and 2, respectively.
Richmond prosecutors, in a petition filed Wednesday, appealed a court’s decision to grant Alvarado-Dubon $15,000 bond. He is currently still in custody at Richmond City Justice Center. Balacarcel was transferred to Richmond from Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail on Friday.
Richmond police said in a press release last week that they began an investigation into a planned shooting after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen. They arrested Alvarado-Dubon on July 2 at his home, where officers reportedly seized a collection of firearms and about 200 hundred rounds of ammunition. Virginia State Police arrested Balacarcel on July 5 in Charlottesville.
During a Wednesday press conference, Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith said a “hero resident” reported overhearing a suspicious conversation about plans to attack a Fourth of July celebration at the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, where an annual fireworks show is held.
The tipster made a “cognizant choice to be part of the solution and do something as simple as pick up the phone and give us a call,” he said.
Mayor Levar Stoney said he and City Council are working with police and other city departments to reduce violence in Richmond — but called for state and federal lawmakers to implement stricter gun control policies.