A horrific act of violence ripped apart the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday afternoon — and officials there now have identified the 12 people who were murdered when a single gunman entered a municipal building and began firing at random with a .45 caliber handgun.
Dave Hansen, the city manager of Virginia Beach, said at a press conference on Saturday morning that all but one of the victims were city employees, most of whom he knew personally.
“Sixteen hours ago the lives of 12 people were cut short by a senseless, incomprehensible act of violence,” he told the media.
“All but one of the 12 victims were employees of the city of Virginia Beach. I have worked with most of them for many years. We want you to know who they were so in the days and weeks to come you will learn what they meant to all of us, to their families, to their friends and to their coworkers. They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”
President Donald Trump tweeted the following on Saturday morning:
Spoke to Virginia Governor @RalphNortham last night, and the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Virginia Beach this morning, to offer condolences to that great community. The Federal Government is there, and will be, for whatever they may need. God bless the families and all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2019
The chief of police, James Cervera, indicated on Friday that the city’s focus would be on the victims, not on the suspect who rendered such awful violence on innocent people.
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So far, officials have shared few details about the suspect.
The gunman was identified as Dwayne Craddock. He worked as an engineer with the city’s public utilities department for 15 years. He was a current employee and was said to be “disgruntled.”
Craddock died after what was apparently a “long-term” gun battle with police on Friday shortly after 4 p.m.
Cervera did not comment on a motive. He also said this would be “the only time we will announce his name.”
In addition to the 12 killed, other people were injured as well. Three are in critical condition.
Shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday, police rushed to the scene of the shooting. A local police officer was injured while confronting the gunman. Cervera said Friday that the officer’s life was saved by his bullet-proof vest.
“This unfortunate event does not define Virginia Beach. What defines Virginia Beach is the strength and resolve of its people,” Mayor Bobby Dyer said after the events of Friday.
See below for more details on this senseless act of violence — and on those the community and the nation have lost.
Virginia Beach police hold news conference on shooting https://t.co/oHlHoKRRil
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 1, 2019
The 12 people who were gunned down in a municipal building in Virginia Beach, allegedly by a disgruntled employee, were named Saturday in an emotional news conference by fellow city employees. https://t.co/h1g1Biv8zS
— ABC News (@ABC) June 1, 2019
Another horrendous mass shooting in America.
Another moment for Americans to offer lots of thoughts & prayers – then shrug & do nothing to stop it happening again.
I love America but this complacent attitude to its gun violence culture is horrible. https://t.co/65STSbPAIp
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 1, 2019