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Police say they stopped a planned July 4 mass shooting in Virginia’s capital after getting a tip

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Richmond Police Chief Gerald M Smith gestures during a press conference at Richmond Virginia Police headquarters, Wednesday July 6, 2022, in Richmond, Va.

Steve Helber | AP

Police in Richmond, Virginia, said Wednesday that they thwarted a planned July 4 mass shooting after receiving a tip that led to the arrest of two men and the seizure of multiple guns — an announcement that got here just two days after a deadly mass shooting on the vacation in a Chicago suburb.

A “hero citizen” overheard a conversation indicating there was an attack being planned on town’s popular Independence Day celebration and called police to report it, Police Chief Gerald Smith said at a news conference.

Police initiated an investigation, together with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI, which led to the arrests of two men on charges of being a non-U.S. citizen in possession of a firearm. Additional charges are possible, Smith said.

Officers seized two assault rifles, a handgun and a whole bunch of rounds of ammunition from a residence where the firearms and “related material” were in plain view, Smith said.

The 2 men were being held without bond at an area jail, the chief said.

The apparent thwarted plot was planned for a similar day that a gunman opened fire from a rooftop during a Fourth of July parade within the affluent Chicago suburb of Highland Park, killing seven people and injuring greater than three dozen.

Robert E. Crimo III was charged with seven counts of murder Tuesday. The shooting sent a whole bunch of individuals fleeing in fear and set off an hourslong manhunt. Authorities haven’t yet identified a motive in that shooting.

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