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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U-Haul truck hits hydro pole, causes power outage in Surrey

Vehicle driving westbound on Fraser Highway

Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

Clayton Heights’ Aaron Grim says repurposed racer ‘easy to clean and easy to collect the eggs’

UPDATE: All-cat fight at Surrey RCMP Classic final Saturday night

Guildford Park beats Semiahmoo, ending Totems’ three-year championship run

Greedy family’s maid overcomes them all in Surrey Little Theatre’s latest play

‘The Late Christopher Bean’ is staged at Clayton-area theatre for a month starting Jan. 23

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Coquihalla, Highway 3 to be hit with freezing rain, sparking warning to commuters

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Most Read