Robert ‘Bobby’ Williams: Tribute to the Virginia Beach Victim

Robert "Bobby" Williams

City of Virginia Beach Robert "Bobby" Williams

Robert “Bobby” Williams was a veteran of the city of Virginia Beach workforce, with the longest tenure of any of the Virginia Beach mass shooting victims, serving 41 years.

According to the city, Williams worked as a special projects coordinator in Virginia Beach’s public utilities department. He was from Chesapeake. Tragically, Williams died in the building where he’d worked for so many decades, at the hands of a mass murderer who will not be named here. Eleven other people also died in Virginia Beach Municipal Center, building 2, including 10 of Williams’ co-workers and a man who had just stopped buy to get a permit. You can read about each victim here.

virginia beach shooting victims

The Virginia Beach shooting victims.

“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.”

Here’s what you need to know:


Robert ‘Bobby’ Williams Was Remembered as a Man With ‘Institutional Knowledge’ Who was Close to Retirement

Brent Werlein wrote a heartbreaking accounting of his co-workers. He would have been there too but he left work early on May 31 because his son’s daycare was closed.

“Robert ‘Bobby’ Williams was a special projects coordinator who I also worked daily with. We would talk and discuss ways to try and solve issues in the sanitary sewer system. He had alot of institutional knowledge and was setting his sites on retiring some time in 2019 so he could be with family,” Werlein wrote.

He added: “The hardest thing about all of this is I would have been right there in it, had my daycare not been closed for the day. I left at 2:15 from Kates (victim Katherine Nixon’s) office to pick up my son from school. My last words to her where (sic) ‘see you monday.’ 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.”

Laura Shields wrote on Facebook: “Please pray for the family’s (sic) in Virginia Beach…I just found out two friends were killed and another injured. My heart breaks for them. Bert Snelling, Bobby Williams, and Stephen motley we will be praying for you and your family’s.”

She shared the above photo that referenced Bobby Williams and Motley. Motley survived the attack. Williams did not. Authorities released Robert “Bobby” Williams’ name as being among the 12 people killed by a mass shooter who indiscriminately opened fire in the municipal center of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Here are the names of the other victims:

All but one of the 12 victims were employees of the city of Virginia Beach.

Laquita C. Brown, Chesapeake

Mary Louise Gayle, Virginia Beach

Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Virginia Beach

Katherine A. Nixon, Virginia Beach

Richard H. Nettleton, Norfolk

Christopher Kelly Rapp, Powhatan

Ryan Keith Cox, Virginia Beach

Joshua O. Hardy, Virginia Beach

Michelle “Missy” Langer, Virginia Beach

Herbert Bert Snelling, Virginia Beach

Alexander Gusev, Virginia Beach


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