Home Man arrested with machine gun as basketball game played in a Charlottesville park

Man arrested with machine gun as basketball game played in a Charlottesville park

Crystal Graham
richard sanders and weapons seized
Submitted photos

Charlottesville Police officers have arrested a second individual as part of an ongoing operation into recent gun violence within the city.

Richard Sanders was taken into custody on Thursday in Tonsler Park on Cherry Avenue in Charlottesville.

Sanders had two concealed firearms including a handgun that had been altered to fully automatic and contained an extended magazine. The other firearm was an AK-style firearm with a 30-round magazine.

Sanders was transported to the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

He has been charged with felonies including possession of a concealed weapon, possession of a machine gun and possession of a firearm in a city park.

“Tonsler Park was filled with children and spectators attempting to enjoy a basketball game,” said Michael Kochis, Charlottesville Police chief. “They have a right to expect to be safe in that park.”

The investigation is ongoing and further charges are pending.

If you have any information related to recent gun violence in the city, call (434) 977-4000.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.