Before he became one of the nation’s mass shooters, DeWayne Craddock was a public utilities engineer who once served in the Virginia National Guard, according to the U.S. Military. Only a few photos have emerged of the gunman.
That’s the biography that is emerging about Craddock, 40, whose background seemed unblemished – at least based on what is known publicly so far – or at least doesn’t seem to predict mass murder. He doesn’t appear to have a criminal history, for example, and his life trajectory took him from high school in Virginia to the military to private firms to public service. Because he didn’t appear to have any social media presence whatsoever, pictures of Craddock have been tough to come by but some have emerged. This is the first photo of Craddock to emerge. It was an old work photo from a newspaper announcement about a new engineering job in the private sector:
Here’s an old yearbook picture:
Those are the only confirmed pictures of DeWayne Craddock to be released thus far. However, chilling photos have emerged showing that he had video cameras installed in the windows of his condominium:
Here’s another view:
A picture also emerged of law enforcement towing the suspect’s car.
This is a wider view of the gunman’s condo:
You can read about each of the victims here. The City of Virginia Beach released their photos:
Police say what Craddock did on May 31, 2019 was utterly horrific; he barged into the City of Virginia Beach Municipal Complex where he worked, building 2, where public works and other city agencies are located. Then, he opened fire on co-workers and others. Even a man who was just there to get a permit was not spared. Indiscriminately, police say, Craddock fired. Shooting whomever he could, and, in the end, taking 12 lives and losing his own (police shot him; he also wounded a cop.) The motive remains unclear.
Authorities revealed in a news conference June 2 that Craddock submitted a two weeks’ resignation notice by email on the morning of the massacre. However, they say he wasn’t being fired, hadn’t been fired, and his job performance was considered satisfactory. They say the motive remains unclear.
City Manager Dave Hansen said officials are conducting a “thorough review of the (employment) status of the perpetrator. His performance was satisfactory. He was in good standing in his department; there were no issues of discipline ongoing.” Asked if there had been concerns or complaints, he said, “We are not sensing that… and I have no evidence that is the case.” But he said they were still looking into it, and the police chief said investigators are piecing together all of Craddock’s movements that day. Officials described it as a “normal work day.”
“We’re looking as deep as we can into motives from work, personal motives, professional motives that could have happened… right now we don’t have anything glaring. There’s nothing that hits you right between the eyes,” said the police chief.
Here’s what you need to know about Craddock’s Army and other bio:
Craddock Entered the Army National Guard After High School, Reports Say
The National Guard provided Heavy with this information. “”Dewayne A. Craddock enlisted in the Virginia National Guard in April 1996. He was assigned to the Norfolk-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as a 13B cannon crew member. He was discharged in April 15 2002, and held the rank of specialist at the time of his discharge.” It was released by MSG W. Michael Houk, Spokesman, National Guard Bureau, via A. A. “Cotton” Puryear, State Public Affairs Officer, Virginia National Guard. Heavy asked whether the discharge is honorable or otherwise, and received this response from Houk, “The character of his discharge is not releasable information.”
An old Newport News newspaper article, from 1996, says this of Craddock, referring to him as DeWayne Hamilton: “Army National Guard Pvt. DeWayne Hamilton, son of Vestere O. Craddock and former ward of James H. Craddock of Newport News, has arrived at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla., to begin one station unit training. He is a 1996 graduate of Denbigh High School, Newport News.” CNN confirmed that this was the same person as the DeWayne Craddock who is the mass shooter. Online records reviewed by Heavy also show Craddock linked to Vestere.
A 1997 article in the same newspaper reported that Dewayne “graduated from One Station Unit Training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla.”
The New York Times reports that Craddock once worked for the Army Training and Support Center.
Craddock’s mother’s Facebook page indicates the family has roots in North Carolina. Old newspaper clippings show she posted multiple classified ads on behalf of a realty. However, no Facebook or other social media accounts for DeWayne Craddock were found.
Craddock Graduated From High School in Newport News & Obtained a Civil Engineering Degree in College
Craddock was a 1996 graduate of Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia, according to an old Daily Press newspaper article.
After the Army, he went to college. An old Newport Daily Press article reported that “Craddock is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering.”
The scene inside Building 2 was a frightening one; police scanner traffic chronicled how officers rushed to rescue victims, including at least one shot in the face, found survivors hiding throughout the complex, and worked to neutralize the suspect, who was still firing through a door. Authorities praised the heroism of a wounded officer and other first responders.
“It’s a horrific day for Virginia,” said Gov. Ralph Northam at one of the press conferences authorities held in the wake of the mass shooting. “It’s just a horrific day. Our thoughts are with these victims and their families.” The gunman used a .45 caliber handgun with a silencer and multiple extended magazines, the police chief said. The shooter and officers engaged in a lengthy “gun battle.”
Craddock Worked as a ‘Certified Professional Engineer’
The shooter was a “disgruntled employee” bent on revenge, news reports from NBC12 and the Wall Street Journal said, although the specific motive was not detailed by police. However, officials later denied having any evidence that he was “disgruntled,” beyond his resignation notice and his actions on May 31.
According to CNN, Craddock’s title was “certified professional engineer for the city of Virginia Beach in the Public Utilities Department.” The police chief painted a disturbing scene of Craddock entering the municipal center and randomly shooting people. The law enforcement response was quick, but, initially, that didn’t deter Craddock.
A 2008 article in the Newport Daily Press reported that DeWayne A. Craddock had been hired to the site planning and engineering team for a local company.
“Craddock has engineering experience as a project engineer for site design, stormwater management, and public and private utility design,” the announcement stated.
He ran in a local 5K and his name appears in city notices for a neighborhood website.
In a press conference, the governor stressed that more might have lost their lives without the quick response of law enforcement officers and medics. “Their actions likely saved lives,” he said. They have seen injuries and scenes “no one should have to face,” he said. The mayor called it Virginia Beach’s “darkest hour.” The scene was active for so long that local journalists reported hearing gunshots when they arrived. It’s the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since the Borderline Bar & Grill in California in 2018.
Craddock, of Virginia Beach, was 40-years-old, according to online records, and is now dead.
“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” said Mayor Bobby Dyer. “The people involved are our friends, co-workers, neighbors, colleagues.”
In addition to the 12 people who died, four other people are in surgery for their wounds. The wounded police officer is expected to survive and was saved by his vest, said Police Chief James A. Cervera, calling the mass tragedy a “devastating incident…that is going to change the lives of a number of families from our city.” One victim was found in a vehicle, and victims were discovered on all three floors, the chief said.
Shortly after 4 p.m. on May 31, 2019, the suspect, a long-time public utilities employee, entered and began to “indiscriminately fire on all the victims,” the chief said. He was a “current employee,” and the shooting occurred over multiple floors, said the chief.
However, the Wall Street Journal and other outlets continued to report that DeWayne Craddock had been terminated, perhaps recently. The newspaper reported that Craddock returned to municipal building 2 to “exact revenge.”
DeWayne Craddock’s employment status is confirmed by numerous city notices listing him as a public works contact person.
Some people on Twitter were sharing information about the shooter’s politics; however, the credible source on that (Virginia state government registration records) requires a partial social security number, so it could not be confirmed. There is no evidence of political motive.
In July 2018, the City of Virginia Beach published an article that suggested people contact “DeWayne Craddock with Virginia Beach Public Utilities.” The article was about utility work affecting local traffic. There are many such city notices with his name listed. In 2014, he was listed as the contact person for the city’s “Public Utilities Design Standards Manual Update.”
Craddock Once Gave Chamber of Commerce Workers a Building Tour
A search of online court records for Virginia Beach did not turn up any criminal cases for Craddock. No obvious social media sites were apparent for him. Federal law enforcement officials said in a press conference that Craddock purchased the weapons he used legally: two .45 caliber pistols. He also used a silencer.
Old newspaper articles indicate he was sometimes the public face of the city utility department.
According to the Lake Gaston Gazette, in 2015, DeWayne Craddock gave Chamber of Commerce board members a tour of the Virginia Beach Pumping Station.
“Recently, Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce board members took a tour of the facility led by Dwayne Craddock, City of Virginia Beach project manager,” the article said. Other articles, including from the city itself, give his name as DeWayne Craddock, though, not Dwayne Craddock.
Craddock was quoted in the article. “The pumping station is the biggest thing you see,” he said, adding, “It’s a continual mowing operation.” The article says that Chamber President/CEO Christina Wells asked Craddock “if the city ever subleases Lake Gaston water to other areas,” to which he responded, “We would never pull water out and sell it to someone else. The way it works is Norfolk (where the water treatment facility is located) tells us how much to pump and we pump it to them.”
In 2016, DeWayne Craddock was a speaker at a local civic group’s meeting. He was described as “project manager, city Public Utilities Department, speaking on the new 48th Street pump station.”
His name also appeared on a 2014 city public works notice as a point of contact. Online records show him with an address in Virginia Beach.