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Virginia Beach shooting: what we know

At least 12 people have been killed.

A police chaplain heads toward Princess Anne Middle School in Virginia Beach, on Friday, May 31, 2019.
A police chaplain heads toward Princess Anne Middle School in Virginia Beach, on Friday, May 31, 2019. A city employee opened fire at a municipal complex in Virginia Beach.
AP Photo/Vicki Cronis-Nohe
Jen Kirby is a senior foreign and national security reporter at Vox, where she covers global instability.

As of Monday, this article is no longer being updated. For continuing coverage on gun violence, check out Vox’s gun violence section.

At least 12 people have been killed in a mass shooting at a municipal center in Virginia Beach, Virginia, police confirmed Friday.

Police have identified one shooter, who died after a firefight with police. Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera described him as a city public utilities employee.

“Today is Virginia Beach’s darkest hour,” Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said Friday night at a press conference.

This story is still developing. Here’s what we know so far, and what we don’t.

What we know

  • Shortly after 4 pm local time, the gunman entered Building 2 of the Municipal Center, which houses public works, among other departments. The shooter began to “indiscriminately fire upon all the victims,” Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said at a press conference Friday evening.
Javier Zarracina/Vox
  • At least 12 people are dead and at least four people are injured after the gunman opened fire. Police found victims on three floors of the building, and one victim outside the complex. At least one of the injured was a police officer, who was saved by his bulletproof vest, according to police.
  • The suspect engaged police in “a long gun battle,” Chief James Cervera said Friday night at an additional press conference. Cervera said these officers “stopped this individual from committing more carnage.”
  • The suspect died after the shootout with police officers. Police said the suspect is 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock, who worked as a public utilities employee for 15 years. The suspect submitted his resignation the morning of the shooting.
  • The suspect was armed with two .45 caliber handguns; at least one was fitted with a suppressor and used extended magazines. A search of the suspect’s home revealed additional weapons. Officials say the weapons were purchased legally.
  • Police said the scene is secure but the investigation is ongoing. The FBI and Virginia state police forensics units are assisting.
  • “We have more questions, really, than we have answers,” Cervera said Friday evening, calling this a “devastating incident.”
  • Saturday, officials released the names of those killed in the shooting. They are: Tara Welch Gallagher, of Virginia Beach; Mary Louise Gayle, of Virginia Beach; Alexander Mikhail Gusev, of Virginia Beach; Katherine A. Nixon, of Virginia Beach; Ryan Keith Cox, of Virginia Beach; Joshua A. Hardy, of Virginia Beach; Michelle “Missy” Langer, of Virginia Beach; Herbert “Bert” Snelling, of Virginia Beach; Laquita C. Brown, of Chesapeake; Robert “Bobby” Williams, of Chesapeake; Richard H. Nettleton, of Norfolk; and Christopher Kelly Rapp, of Powhatan.
  • All of the victims were public works or public utilities employees, except for Bert Snelling, who was a contractor.
  • President Donald Trump has offered his condolences to the victims’ families and to the Virginia Beach community.
  • Public vigils have been planned for Saturday and Sunday.
  • Speaking at a vigil Saturday morning, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said, “Twelve precious lives came to work yesterday morning to serve this great city of Virginia Beach, thinking they would go home and start their weekend and be with their families. And that didn’t happen for them. And we must remember they all had families, they all had loved ones, they were parents, they were daughters, sisters, brothers — and now there’s a void in their families.”

What we don’t know

  • The shooter’s motivation.

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