Joshua O. Hardy was a Virginia Beach city employee who was fatally shot at his office along with 10 of his co-workers and a contractor who was in the building to apply for a permit, authorities say. The gunman, who also worked for the city, was killed during a firefight with police.
You can read about the other 11 victims of the mass shooting here.
Josh Hardy was 52. According to the City of Virginia Beach, Hardy worked for more than four years in the public works department as an engineering technician. He lived in Virginia Beach. Hardy was a native of Norfolk, Virginia.
A friend, Michael Seymour, wrote on Facebook, “still can believe it my friend and brother Joshua is gone. i still remember the day when he went to work for the city of va beach he joke about coming back to Norfolk if it dont work out for him josh was a true friend and we had some good times together he was kind hearted and understanding brother i will remember the years we worked together and all the fun we had RIH JOSHUA HARDY A VERY GOOD PERSON TO KNOW AND A TO WORK WITH GONNA MISS YOU CALLING ME ASKING HOW THINGS ARE GOING.”
Brent Werlein, who worked with Hardy as an engineer for the City of Virginia Beach, wrote on Facebook that Hardy, “was always fun to be around. Him and I would joke each other and prank each other just like brothers. … He was a brother who every day would bring a smile to your face.”
Werlein added, “Friday started off like any other friday. I brought in doughnuts for the day and we had a directors briefing about software I and a couple coworkers gave. In that meeting where a few of the victims. The meeting went really well and everyone was excited and motivated and looking forward to the progress we where going to be making. They will be missed.”
At a press conference a day after the shooting, city manager Dave Hansen said, “The lives of 12 people were cut short by a senseless, incomprehensible act of violence.” Hansen added, “Today, we all grieve. I have worked with most of them for many years. We want you to know who they were, so in the days and weeks to come, you will learn what they meant to all of us.”
Hansen continued, “They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”
In the hours after the shooting, Mayor Bobby Dyer said, “This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach.”
Julie Hill, the city’s communications manager, told reporters, “Make no mistake, we are a heartbroken city. We lost 12 people who did nothing more than go to work.”
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam added, “Our thoughts are for these victims and their families. And we’re one with our law enforcement, our first responders, the hospital, and making sure that we’re taking care of everybody right now.”