Virginia Beach shooting victims were veteran city employees

Shooter identified as DeWayne Craddock, employed for 15 years as an engineer with the city

Police work the scene where eleven people were killed during a mass shooting at the Virginia Beach city public works building, Friday, May 31, 2019 in Virginia Beach, Va. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

The 12 people who were fatally shot in a Virginia Beach government building were remembered Saturday during a sombre news conference and vigil as officials sought to put the focus on those who died and not the gunman.

Police Chief James Cervera identified the assailant as DeWayne Craddock, who was employed for 15 years as an engineer with the city’s utilities department. He declined to comment on a motive for Friday’s rampage, which ended with Craddock’s death in a gun battle with police. City officials uttered his name just once and said they would not mention it again.

City Manager Dave Hansen said he had worked for years with many of the dead, 11 of whom were city employees. The 12th was a contractor trying to get a permit.

Their names and photos were projected on a screen as Hansen read aloud biographical information that included their hometowns and years of service.

“They leave a void that we will never be able to fill,” he said.

Chaplains and family assistance workers worked through the night to notify relatives — a job that Hansen described as “the most difficult task anyone will ever have to do.”

One of the dead employees had worked for the city for 41 years. Six worked in the same department as Craddock, though authorities have declined to say if anyone was specifically targeted or if the suspect had issued threats before. The victims were found throughout the building, on three floors, police said.

Authorities have said Craddock opened fire indiscriminately. Four other people were wounded, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life.

The suspect was armed with a .45-calibre handgun with a noise suppressor, police said. Cervera said Saturday that more weapons were found at the scene and at his home, but he declined to elaborate.

The building was open to the public, but security passes were required to enter inner offices, conference rooms and other work areas. As a current employee, Craddock would have had the pass to enter the inner offices, Hansen said.

Asked how secure the building was, the police chief said that government buildings must balance access with security.

“It’s an open government building. Citizens have the right to access open government buildings. Employees have a right to access their work site,” he said.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

MLA Ron Orr speaks on UCP’s record, global economy

Ponoka and Disctrict Chamber of Commerce monthly lunch meeting

Ponoka Silver Valley 4H Riders visit Nova Scotia

Local 4-H club enjoys the second leg of their club to club exchange

Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society receives sizeable grant

Theatre group presented with $13,476

TRC impressed with first time finals showcase in Ponoka

Huge team roping event brings in big numbers — riders and prize money

Maskwacis now has permanent library

Only one of two in province

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

STARS airlifts two to hospital early Saturday morning

Patients thought to be around 16 and 20 years old

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Most Read