Home News Victims Identified After Gunman Kills 12 Municipal Building Staff In Virginia Beach

Victims Identified After Gunman Kills 12 Municipal Building Staff In Virginia Beach

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The 12 people killed when a gunman fired on his colleagues at a municipal building in the US city of Virginia Beach have been named.

City manager Dave Hansen said the victims – 11 local authority workers and one contractor – “leave a void we will never be able to fill”.

The gunman shot indiscriminately before dying in a gun battle with police.

He has been identified as DeWayne Craddock and described by police as a disgruntled city employee.

Authorities said they would only refer to him by name once, in order to focus attention on the victims.

The municipal workers killed were Laquita Brown; Tara Gallagher; Mary Louise Gayle; Alexander Gusev; Katherine Nixon; Richard Nettleton; Christopher Kelly Rapp; Ryan Keith Cox; Joshua Hardy; Michelle Langer and Robert Williams.

Police said Craddock, 40, had been employed as an engineer with the city’s public utilities department for 15 years.

According to AP news agency he had served in the military and was described by neighbors as quiet and “rarely smiling”.

Some US media had reported that the gunman had recently been fired, or was about to be fired. But Hansen said he was an employee at the time and had a security pass to enter the building.

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera declined to comment on a motive for the shooting.

Police previously said the gunman had used a .45-calibre semi-automatic pistol equipped with a sound suppressor and high-capacity magazines. Mr. Cervera said other weapons were recovered at the scene and at the gunman’s home, but did not give details.

Law enforcement officials quoted by AP said the gunman had recently bought several firearms, all legally.

The attack began shortly after at Virginia Beach Municipal Center. The area was put into lockdown by police and employees were evacuated.

One of the victims was shot outside in a car and the rest were found over three floors of the government building.

Four officers entered the building, located the gunman and engaged him, police said. The attacker was then shot dead.

Mr. Cervera said it had been a “a long-term, large gunfight”.

“Once they identified him… he immediately opened fire. We immediately returned the fire and again I want everyone to know that this was a long-term, running gun battle with this individual,” he said.

Mr. Hansen said the building would be closed for some time and some city services would be temporarily relocated.

According to US tracking website Gun Violence Archive, the incident is the 150th mass shooting in the US so far in 2019 – and the deadliest.

The site defines a mass shooting as a gun attack in which at least four people are either killed or wounded.

It is the worst such shooting in the US since November 2018, when 12 people were killed at a bar and grill near Los Angeles, California.

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