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‘Hero’ saved lives with July 4 mass shooting tip

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RICHMOND, Virginia — Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith has credited a “citizen of heroes” with a tip that “saved countless lives on July 4th.”

The July 1 tip involved a man or men who “threatened to commit a mass shooting on or about July 4” during the city’s fireworks celebration at Dogwood Dell in Richmond.

Chief Smith said officers were also focused on the July 4 celebration at the Diamond in Richmond.

“It was their intention to ruin our July 4th celebration,” Smith said.

Chief Smith was unable to provide additional details or provide a motive for the mass shooting.

The tip led police to Julio Alvardo and his home in Richmond.

“Detectives have been monitoring an address related to the suspect and have observed activity,” a police spokesman said. “There was knocking and talking and the man was inside.”

Police said a search turned up two rifles, a pistol and ammunition from the house.

“Unfortunately, the suspect had no weapons in his room and made no incriminating statements,” a police spokesman said. “Homeland Security Investigations” [HSI] was consulted about the weapons, and they advised the owner not to own one. He was taken to lock up and charged with Alien in possession of a firearm.”

A second suspect was kept under police surveillance throughout the holiday weekend and was arrested on July 5.

This is a story in development so anyone with more information can email [email protected] to tip.

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