RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A high-profile trial for a 19-year-old accused of shooting two students at a Richmond high school last year began Monday.
19-year-old David Gutierrez is facing five charges in connection to the shooting, which took place outside of George Wythe High School in Richmond’s Southside on Thursday, April 27, 2023.
After a lengthy jury selection process, both the Prosecution and Defense gave their opening statements in court Monday, Feb. 12. Immediately afterwards, the Commonwealth called its first two witnesses — the teacher who first heard the gunshots and a responding security officer.
Prosecution opened with an update on one of the victims, Victor Sandovol. The team told the jury a bullet went through many of the boy’s major organs. He no longer has a pancreas and is now a permanent diabetic as a result.
The courtroom also heard new details about how the shooting may have unfolded. The defense opened by saying that, prior to the incident, Gutierrez had been bullied by a group of peers, which allegedly included Victor’s friends as well as the other victim. In a previous interview with 8News, Victor’s mother said that Victor was not the intended target in the shooting.
Defense attorneys said that, on the day of the incident, Guttierez was dropping his friends off at school when the victim and his friends approached his car. They said a brawl ensued and Guttierez only used the firearm when his friend was being tackled by his alleged bullies.
Both legal teams told the jury they’ll see surveillance footage later this week that could provide a clearer picture of how everything went down.
The shooting prompted law enforcement Richmond Public School Superintendent Jason Kamras to speak out for change.
“The amount of gun violence in this city has just got to stop,” Kamras said.
The trial is expected to last four days.