- In a press conference Saturday morning, police said that 12 people were killed and an additional four were injured when a gunman opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach on Friday.
- Police have released the identities of the 12 victims, and all but one were city employees.
- The suspect’s identity has been released by authorities, he has also been identified as a city employee.
- Police would not comment on the suspect’s potential motive at the time of the press conference.
- On Friday, the suspect was apprehended after engaging in a gun battle with police. He later died.
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In a press conference on Saturday morning, the victims were identified. All but one were city employees.
Laquita Brown, Tara Gallagher, Mary Louise Gayle, Alexander Gusev, Katherine Nixon, Richard Nettleton, Christopher Rapp, Ryan Cox, Joshua Hardy, Michelle “Missy” Langer, Robert “Bobby” Williams, and Herbert “Bert” Snelling. Snelling was a contractor who was in the building at the time to obtain a permit.
During the press conference, Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen said that that they had deliberately chosen to focus on the victims and their lives rather than the suspect.
“We want you to know who they were so that in the days and weeks to come you will learn what they mean to all of us – to their families, to their friends, and to their coworkers,” Hansen said. “They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”
Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera identified the gunman as DeWayne Craddock, who was employed as an engineer with the city’s public utilities department for about 15 years.
Craddock, 40, joined the Army National Guard after graduating high school. He received basic military training and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, according to a 1996 newspaper clip reviewed by the Associated Press.
Cervera said he was “not at liberty to give information” about a possible motive related to the shooting or whether Craddock made any threats against other employees in the past.
Cervera said that as of Friday Craddock was still a city employee who “like all employees” had a security pass and was authorised to enter the building.
Police engaged with what Cervera described as a “long gun battle with the suspect.” Craddock was killed in the gun battle. One police officer was shot, but is expected to survive.
Friday’s shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in the US this year.
“This is a horrific day for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Governor Ralph Northam said in a statement. “We are devastated by the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach. I am in Virginia Beach with law enforcement authorities and Mayor Dyer, where I am monitoring the situation and offer the state’s full support.”
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