‘Unspeakable, senseless violence’: 12 victims, suspect identified in Va. Beach shooting
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WWBT) - Twelve people were killed and 4 others were injured in a shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building Friday.
“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach," Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said.
Police said the gunman was also dead following a shootout with law enforcement. During that shootout, a police officer was injured. Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera said the officer “was saved by his bulletproof vest."
On Saturday, city officials named the victims, showed their photos and gave details of their lives during a news conference:
Police said 11 people died at the scene and one died on the way to the hospital.
Police said all but one of the victims were public utilities employees; one was a contractor. Police have identified the victims as Laquita Brown, Tara Gallagher, Mary Gayle, Alexander Gusev, Katherine Nixon, Richard Nettleton, Christopher Rapp, Ryan Cox, Joshua Hardy, Michelle Langer, Robert Williams and Herbert Snelling.
“They leave a void that we will never be to fill,” City Manager Dave Hansen said.
On Saturday afternoon, Virginia Beach hospital officials gave an update on three of the people wounded:
A fourth patient was taken to a hospital in Norfolk - there is no word on his or her condition.
The suspect has been identified as 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock, a longtime employee in the city’s public utilities department. Cervera said they would only mention Craddock’s name one time, then forever refer to him as “the suspect.”
At a news conference Sunday, officials said Craddock had turned in his resignation hours before the shooting. Officials also said that he was not fired from his job and that her was “in good standing.”
“Our focus now is the dignity and respect of the victims,” Cervera said.
Cervera said the shooter was a long-time public utilities employee who fired indiscriminately, but he would not comment on a motive.
The shooting started outside the municipal building and continued inside on all three floors. Police recovered a .45-caliber handgun with multiple extended magazines and a suppressor.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam traveled to Virginia Beach and said the shooting was “unspeakable, senseless violence."
“This is a horrific day for the Commonwealth of Virginia. My deepest condolences and prayers go to the families of those who left home this morning, and will not return tonight, as well as those who have been injured in this tragedy. This is unspeakable, senseless violence. I commend local and state law enforcement, first responders, medical teams and all others who acted swiftly to respond to this situation. My thoughts continue to be with the victims and their families.”
The City of Virginia Beach will hold a remembrance for the 12 victims who lost their lives.
The memorial will be held on Thursday, June 6, 7 p.m., at the Rock Church, located at 640 Kempsville Road in Virginia Beach.
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