Community remembers teen shooting victim at Richfield memorial

(KSTP) – Community members brought balloons, candles and flowers to South Education Center in Richfield to pay respects to 15-year-old shooting victim Jahmari Rice on Wednesday night.

Shyrese James, Rice’s mother, remembered her last memory with her son.

“The night before, Jamari came to the house and said ‘Mommy I love you and I’ll see you later,” James said.

The teenage South Education Center student never came home from school on Tuesday.

“There is no pain in the world that can describe losing a child to a stupid gun,” James said.

On Wednesday afternoon, law enforcement and school officials gave an update regarding the shooting investigation.

“A young man lost his life yesterday and others are fighting for their life and countless others have lives that are changed forever based on the trauma and the fear evoked yesterday,” Michael Paul, Minneapolis FBI special agent, said.

On Tuesday around noon, Richfield police said there was a dispute involving five students outside the front entrance of the school.

Then, shots were fired. The gunfire killed 15-year-old Rice and injured two other students.

“The trauma they experienced will be with them the rest of their lives. It will take our school community time to grieve and time to heal,” Sandy Lewandowski, Intermediate School District #287 superintendent, said.

Two people, 18-year-old Fernando Valdez Alvarez and 19-year-old Alfredo Rosario Solis, were arrested in connection to the shooting.

Investigators said seven search warrants were executed and two guns were recovered.

“I was a little bit taken aback,” Lindsey Ramundt, SEC parent, said.

Ramundt’s son goes to South Education Center. He gets picked up around noon at the front of the school, which was the same time and place of the shooting.

“I started to panic a little bit in that moment until I got confirmation from the school that he had made it to his elementary school,” she said.

It was a temporary sense of relief, but the concern lingers about gun violence increasing in the community.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking to just know that it could happen anywhere,” she said.

Both suspects are in custody. Investigators expect charges will be filed on Thursday.

School officials are reopening the school on Friday. Counselors will be available for students who need them.