Virginia Beach shooting victims were veteran city employees

Shooter identified as DeWayne Craddock, employed for 15 years as an engineer with the city

Police work the scene where eleven people were killed during a mass shooting at the Virginia Beach city public works building, Friday, May 31, 2019 in Virginia Beach, Va. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

The 12 people who were fatally shot in a Virginia Beach government building were remembered Saturday during a sombre news conference and vigil as officials sought to put the focus on those who died and not the gunman.

Police Chief James Cervera identified the assailant as DeWayne Craddock, who was employed for 15 years as an engineer with the city’s utilities department. He declined to comment on a motive for Friday’s rampage, which ended with Craddock’s death in a gun battle with police. City officials uttered his name just once and said they would not mention it again.

City Manager Dave Hansen said he had worked for years with many of the dead, 11 of whom were city employees. The 12th was a contractor trying to get a permit.

Their names and photos were projected on a screen as Hansen read aloud biographical information that included their hometowns and years of service.

“They leave a void that we will never be able to fill,” he said.

Chaplains and family assistance workers worked through the night to notify relatives — a job that Hansen described as “the most difficult task anyone will ever have to do.”

One of the dead employees had worked for the city for 41 years. Six worked in the same department as Craddock, though authorities have declined to say if anyone was specifically targeted or if the suspect had issued threats before. The victims were found throughout the building, on three floors, police said.

Authorities have said Craddock opened fire indiscriminately. Four other people were wounded, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life.

The suspect was armed with a .45-calibre handgun with a noise suppressor, police said. Cervera said Saturday that more weapons were found at the scene and at his home, but he declined to elaborate.

The building was open to the public, but security passes were required to enter inner offices, conference rooms and other work areas. As a current employee, Craddock would have had the pass to enter the inner offices, Hansen said.

Asked how secure the building was, the police chief said that government buildings must balance access with security.

“It’s an open government building. Citizens have the right to access open government buildings. Employees have a right to access their work site,” he said.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

47 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday in Alberta, still 620 active cases

3 active COVID-19 cases remain in Red Deer

Severe thunderstorm watch in place for Sylvan Lake and Eckville

Environment Canada issued the watch Tuesday afternoon.

Benalto artist depicts those lazy, hazy (virus-free) days of summer at Sylvan Lake

David More’s Shore Figures exhibit is showing at the Red Deer museum

Sylvan Lake RCMP seeking assistance identifying theft suspect

The unidentified male took an electric scooter from the shelf of Canadian Tire on July 2

55-year-old male dead in motorcycle collision on Hwy 11A

Sylvan Lake RCMP responded to a 911 report shortly after midnight on July 6

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Charges dropped against N.S. woman injured during arrest in racial profiling case

Charges dropped against N.S. woman injured during arrest in racial profiling case

Conservative stalwart Scott Reid backing newcomer Leslyn Lewis for leadership

Conservative stalwart Scott Reid backing newcomer Leslyn Lewis for leadership

Planned class-action lawsuit alleges illegal strip-searches of federal prisoners

Planned class-action lawsuit alleges illegal strip-searches of federal prisoners

Two protesters get conditional discharge after Alberta turkey farm demonstration

Two protesters get conditional discharge after Alberta turkey farm demonstration

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

Daisies bring a sunny look to the garden

IIHF encouraged by NHL’s potential return to Olympics in ‘22

IIHF encouraged by NHL’s potential return to Olympics in ‘22

Raptors coach Nick Nurse knows attention to family will be key for players

Raptors coach Nick Nurse knows attention to family will be key for players

NFL, NFLPA still haven’t resolved all protocol for camps

NFL, NFLPA still haven’t resolved all protocol for camps

Most Read