There was a massive law enforcement response to an active shooter at the Virginia Beach municipal center, and scanner traffic and police made it clear that there were multiple victims. The police chief said 12 people are dead with more wounded.
The suspect was named by the Wall Street Journal and on the police scanner by authorities as DeWayne Craddock. You can read more about Craddock here.
“ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION-municipal center, building 2. Multiple injuries. At this time it is believed that only 1 shooter, and they have been taken into custody. More to follow,” Virginia Beach police reported on Twitter. “My team and I are actively monitoring the situation in Virginia Beach. Please stay away from the area and follow all instructions from law enforcement,” Gov. Ralph Northam wrote.
You can listen to the live scanner audio here. Here’s archived audio. Be aware that it’s disturbing.
The shooting was first reported as coming from the Virginia Beach courthouse, but it appears to be at the municipal center near the courthouse instead. Authorities had yet to publicly comment in detail on what was going on, but the live scanner, which you can listen to below, made it clear that there was a dire situation at hand that involved a suspect who was hiding at one point.
Scanner traffic from responding law enforcement officers referred to possible casualties, a barricaded suspect, and people hiding inside.
“We have citizens bringing a casualty out now,” authorities said on the scanner. They referred to a “barricade situation.” They also referred to “victims who are either ambulatory or alive.” At least two victims were reported. A gunshot victim needed a medic in a stairwell. Authorities indicated on the scanner that they were on the second floor from where the suspect was hiding at one point; they also indicated they had the suspect in custody. It was not yet clear how many people were wounded or dead.
NBC12 reporter Eric Perry wrote on Twitter that the situation was so active that journalists at the scene could hear gunshots. “Hearing reports of a possible active shooter situation at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. We are monitoring the situation. Reporters on scene say they are hearing gunshots,” he wrote. He said, contrary to other reports, that the shooting situation was “NOT the COURTHOUSE but in Building 2.” You can see a map of the complex here.
“We are still actively clearing the building for victims and secondary suspects,” an officer said on the scanner.
Here’s what you need to know:
Officers Rushed to the Scene of the Municipal Center Complex
“We’re working the incident now,” authorities said on the scanner.
Kofo Lasaki, a reporter for WTKR-TV, wrote on Twitter on the late afternoon of May 31, 2019: “BREAKING: Police say they are working an active incident at the Virginia Beach Courthouse. The courthouse is on lockdown and officers are out with their guns drawn @WTKR3.”
People reported a flurry of law enforcement activity. “Just passed 15 cop cars headed to courthouse on Princess Anne rd.. nice,” wrote one person on Twitter.
“There is a shooter still shooting through a door on the third floor of what im assuming is the apartments behind Harris Teeter by the courthouse,” wrote another. She also wrote: “AVOID THE COURTHOUSE AREA AT ALL COSTS. There’s an active shooter situation occurring right now and all of the cops in Virginia Beach are flying down Nimmo Parkway.”
Be aware that early accounts in active shooter situations can be conflicting and sometimes wrong. This post is being updated as more information is learned.