2 charged in Richfield school shooting that left 1 fellow student dead, 1 critical

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2 charged in Richfield school shooting that left 1 fellow student dead, 1 critical
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Two young men have been charged in a shooting at a Richfield school that left a fellow student dead and another critically injured, the Hennepin County attorney’s office announced Friday.

Alfredo Rosario Solis, 19, and Fernando Valdez-Alvarez, 18, both of Minneapolis, each face one count of intentional second-degree murder for the death of 15-year-old Jahmari Rice, County Attorney Mike Freeman said.

Rice was found shot outside South Education Center in Richfield on Tuesday and a 17-year-old student was found wounded in the school’s main entrance. The 17-year-old remains in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center, according to the criminal complaints.

Solis and Valdez-Alvarez, who are both students at the alternative school, are also charged with two counts of attempted intentional second-degree murder, the complaints said. Those charges involve the 17-year-old’s injuries and another boy who was with Rice. The third victim was not injured in the shooting, Freeman said.

Solis and Valdez-Alvarez are jailed on $1 million bail.

Fernando Valdez-Alvarez, left, and Alfredo Rosario Solis. (Courtesy of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

According to the complaints, officers learned from the third victim that a confrontation involving him and the two defendants, Rice and the 17-year-old victim had occurred in the school parking lot, where Solis was punched once by the 17-year-old.

In return, Valdez-Alvarez fired numerous shots at the three victims, according to charges, which didn’t offer details about the nature of the disagreement. After he shot at the victims, Valdez-Alvarez and Solis ran to their SUV, where shots continued to be fired once they got inside and eventually drove off, according to the complaint, which didn’t specify who was shooting from the vehicle.

The charges said that Rice was shot while running away.

The suspects were arrested later Tuesday and police said they recovered two handguns, one in Minneapolis and one at a residence in Crystal.

“Our community is dealing a tremendous tragedy this week. The senseless shooting outside a school in Richfield that took the life of 15-year-old Jahmari Rice, and critically wounded another teenage victim, is extremely unsettling. Thankfully, the third male teenager who was shot at did not get hurt,” Freeman said in a prepared statement Friday. “While we continue to heal from past trauma, we also grieve the untimely loss of Mr. Rice. In these difficult times, we must band together as a community, and do what we can to ensure justice is met. Our office will do our part in prosecuting these defendants.”

South Education Center has about 200 students, according to its website, which describes it as a school that offers special education programs and an alternative high school, with students as young as prekindergarten. It is part of District 287, which provides services to 11 school districts across west metro area as well as some students from other districts.

Some students returned to school Friday amid greetings from staff outside the building and increased security. Students were screened with hand-held metal detectors before entering the building on Penn Avenue South near Interstate 494. Attendance was optional, the Star Tribune reported.

The Richfield district said it was reassessing security measures after previously removing metal detectors at South Education Center.

A makeshift memorial with cards, photographs and a heart-shaped balloon sat outside the building in memory of Rice, who transferred to the school from Richfield High two days before he was slain.

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