WARNING: Graphic photos below.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When students at Richmond Community High School walked into the building Monday morning, they were shocked to see blood splattered around the hallways, in the stairwell and in water fountains.
According to Richmond police, an intruder, Garin Pappas of Warrenton, Virginia, broke into the high school about 1 a.m. Sunday and injured himself before wandering throughout the building.
The intrusion caused the school’s security system to be triggered and night security arrived within 15 minutes of the incident. Richmond Police were then called.
Pappas was arrested and given medical treatment before he was taken to a local hospital where he was treated. He was cited for trespassing on school property and destruction of property.
However, school officials did not clean up the mess before students returned Monday morning, prompting concern from parents.
“Children have been traumatized,” said one mother, whose daughter goes to Community High. “They said it smelled really bad because it had been there for two days. There’s only 200 kids in the school, so I’m not sure why they couldn’t find space to keep everyone away from this blood.”
She also raised questions about the timeline of communication. The incident happened at 1 a.m. Sunday, yet parents were not notified until 1:03 p.m. on Monday, four hours into the school day.
In a statement to families, RCHS principal Kenya Massenberg confirmed the blood was not cleaned up immediately, adding that some students and staff witnessed “evidence from the incident upon returning to the building Monday morning.”
The statement also claims the school building was fully secured, cleaned and disinfected by Monday afternoon.
However, another mother shared photos from Tuesday afternoon showing splatters of blood still covering the brick walls and water fountains.
“I am grateful to the RCHS custodial and other staff for their efforts to quickly ensure a safe, secure and clean environment for our students yesterday,” Richmond Public Schools spokesperson Sarah Abubaker said. “Unfortunately, the cleaning and disinfection was not completed immediately following the incident on Sunday, and some students and staff observed remaining evidence of the incident upon return to the building Monday morning. This should not have happened, and we apologize for any distress caused to our community.”
Abubaker added, “Providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority to Richmond Community High School and Richmond Publis Schools, and we take these incidents very seriously. We will be reviewing our security and custodial protocols to ensure a safe and clean campus for our community.”