William Fleming seniors hold diplomas high a day after shooting during their graduation practice

On Wednesday, police found a student who had been shot in the Berglund Center parking lot

Today, hundreds of seniors from William Fleming High School received their diplomas despite a shooting during graduation practice.

ROANOKE, Va. – High school graduation went on as planned for the seniors at William Fleming High School on Thursday afternoon despite a shooting during graduation practice Wednesday.

On Wednesday, police responded to the Berglund Center and found a student had been shot in the parking lot. There have been no updates on their condition or arrests made in the shooting.

“We will not let the events of yesterday define us, we are Roanoke City Public Schools and we are right here,” Roanoke City Superintendent Verletta White said.

Hundreds of seniors took the chance to walk across the stage and get their diplomas.

For graduates like Susana Munoz, they did not want what happened to take away from their big moment.

“Even if some people try to kind of ruin our day, I believe it’s still important to show up, I believe everyone deserves to have a graduation no matter how it was the other day or how it’s been this year, I believe everyone deserves a graduation,” Munoz said.

Police put several security precautions in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

Parents like Kathleen Vanshoyck agreed that they were not going to let anything come between them celebrating their children’s accomplishments.

“You can’t be stopped by violence or being scared you have to live your life and this is something to celebrate so you have to turn a negative into a positive,” Parents Kathleen Vanshoyck said.

While there are still more questions about the shooting, leaders in the community want to move forward and heal together.

“When you take a look at what this is when we look at this community atmosphere, this community of excellence, this is what we are, we are RCPS,” White said.

Patrick Henry High School will be having its graduation at the Berglund Center Friday afternoon.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.