WASHINGTON – Authorities identified on Saturday the perpetrator and victims of a shooting in the eastern United States that left at least 13 dead, including the gunman, and four others wounded.
Friday’s shooting took place at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
In a press conference, City Manager Dave Hansen identified the shooter as 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock, adding that he would not mention the gunman’s name again out of respect for the victims.
Eleven of the 12 people Craddock allegedly killed were his colleagues in the city’s Public Utilities Department, where the alleged perpetrator had been working for 15 years, while the other shooting victim was a contractor.
The alleged perpetrator, who died after an exchange of gunfire with local police, used a handgun and a rifle with multiple extended magazines that had been purchased legally.
Although the motive remains unclear, several local media outlets have reported that Craddock, an engineer and manager of several city development projects, was on the verge of being fired.
Other local news reports indicated the alleged perpetrator had a military background, although officials have not confirmed that information.
In the press conference, Hansen identified the slain municipal employees as 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.
The slain contractor was identified as Herbert Snelling.
“They leave a void that we will never be able to fill,” Hansen said.
For his part, Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said he did not want to speculate on the motive for the shooting but confirmed that Craddock was still a municipal employee at the time of the attack and had used his ID to access the building.
He said the suspect entered the building shortly after 4:00 pm Friday and began to “indiscriminately fire on all of the victims.”
Authorities found bodies on three different floors of the building and in the parking lot.
The attacker died after exchanging gunfire with two police officers who had entered the building, one of whom was wounded but survived thanks to his bulletproof vest.
Cervera did not indicate how long the shooting lasted and called for understanding, saying investigators were examining a huge crime scene.
Located on the US Atlantic Coast at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach (450,000 inhabitants) is the most populous city in the state of Virginia.
Friday’s massacre is the third mass shooting – with more than 10 fatalities – that has occurred in recent months in the US.
On Nov. 7, 2018, 12 people were killed at a country-western bar in Thousand Oaks, California. The perpetrator, 29-year-old Ian David Long, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A month earlier, 11 people died and six others were wounded in an Oct. 27, 2018, shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The lone suspect, Rob Bowers, who had made numerous anti-Semitic posts online, is now in custody.
The deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in US history occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 1, 2017, when a man killed 58 concert-goers from his hotel suite before taking his own life.