Officials identified the 12 Virginia Beach shooting victims who died after a lone gunman opened fire at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center Friday.
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The suspect, DeWayne Craddock, also died following a lengthy “gun battle” with police that injured an officer who was “saved by his vest.”
Virginia Beach officials said they were prepared to release updates at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Here’s what you need to know:
Most Victims Were Public Utility Employees Who Worked With Suspect
The majority of victims were also employees who worked in the Virginia Beach Public Utilities Department. Another was a contractor who was there getting a permit, said Virginia Beach Police Chief James A. Cervera.
DeWayne Craddock was a Public Utilities Engineer who ‘Fired Indiscriminately’
The suspect shot and killed a victim outside Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center and ‘fired indiscriminately’ on all three levels of the building. Initial reports said the shooting occurred at the courthouse. See a map of the complex here.
DeWayne Craddock was named on scanner chatter and by The Wall Street Journal and CNN.
Virginia Beach Police Chief James A. Cervera said the suspect was a current employee. He declined to identify the suspect at Friday night’s press conference, saying some family members had not been notified. The Wall Street Journal reported Craddock had been terminated and returned to the municipal center to “exact revenge.” Cervera declined to state a motive Friday night.
Craddock was sometimes the public face of the city utility department. He gave Chamber of Commerce members a tour of the Virginia Beach Pumping Station in 2015, according to the Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer.
He made “multiple” firearms purchases in recent weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal.
He was armed with a .45-caliber handgun equipped with a silencer and multiple extended magazines, according to Cervera.
Officials were working to determine whether he had the firearm legally, Cervera said.
Witnesses Recounted a Horrific Scene
Officers searched the building floor by floor, locating the dead, wounded and witnesses in hiding.
One witness told NBC 12 she and her coworkers barricaded themselves in their office. Her supervisor yelled at her to call 911. She recalled people screaming “Get down!” as shots rang out.
“I don’t know what kind of person would do something like that,” she said of the mass shooting.
Officers ‘Stopped the Carnage,’ Said Police Chief
The first four Virginia Beach Police officers who responded to the scene followed the sounds of gunfire to locate the shooter. The four officers and suspect had a lengthy “gun battle” which left one officer injured and left the shooter dead. Officers rendered first aid to the suspect, who later died, Cervera said.
The four officers included two “seasoned detectives” and two K-9 handlers, he said.
“I want to commend the local and state law enforcement officers, the first responders, the medical teams and all others who acted swiftly to respond to this situation. Their actions likely saved lives, and they have experienced scenes and injuries no one should ever have to face,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
He pledged Virginia’s long-term support to the families of the victims.
Virginia Beach is ‘a City of Resolve and Dedication,’ Said Mayor
Virginia Beach and state officials rallied their community Friday night. They pledged to support the families of victims and called on the community to do the same.
“We’re going to show that Virginia Beach is a city of resolve and dedication,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer during Friday night’s press conference.
“This day will not define Virginia Beach,” said Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse at the first press conference. “…We will come together. We will show the strength of our city.”