Gunman, 12 victims identified in Virginia Beach shooting

This combination of photos provided by the City of Virginia Beach on Saturday, June 1, 2019 shows victims of Friday’s shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Va. Top row from left are Laquita C. Brown, Ryan Keith Cox, Tara Welch Gallagher and Mary Louise Gayle. Middle row from left are Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Joshua A. Hardy, Michelle “Missy” Langer and Richard H. Nettleton. Bottom row from left are Katherine A. Nixon, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Herbert “Bert” Snelling and Robert “Bobby” Williams. (Courtesy City of Virginia Beach via AP)

Fast facts:

  • At least 12 people are dead after a city employee went on a shooting rampage inside a municipal building in Virginia Beach. Four others were hospitalized with injuries. Three are in critical condition.
  • The gunman, Dwayne Craddock, a longtime public utilities employee, was killed in a shootout with police.
  • All 12 victims were identified Saturday: 11 of them were city employees and one was a contractor.
  • The weapon used in the attack was purchased recently, locally and legally by Craddock, a law enforcement source told CBS News.

Armed with a .45-caliber handgun, a disgruntled city employee opened fire inside a municipal building Friday in Virginia Beach, killing 12 and wounding four others, authorities said. The gunman, later identified as Dwayne Craddock, 40, died after a long gun fight with police.

Police rushed to the scene shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday. A local police officer was wounded while confronting the gunman. Chief James Cervera said in a news conference Friday that the officer was saved by his bullet-proof vest. Cervera pledged to visit the wounded officer by the end of the night.

Cervera said he was a long-time employee of the Public Utilities Department. “There’s no way to describe an incident such as this,” Cervera said.

Details emerge about gunman’s service record

In 1996, Dwayne Craddock enlisted in the Virginia National Guard and was assigned to an infantry brigade combat team based in Norfolk, but was not deployed overseas, a National Guard spokesperson told CBS News.

He held the rank of specialist before he was discharged in 2002.

​Gunman legally purchased weapon

Police said they recovered firearms belonging to Craddock at the scene and at his residence. The weapon used in the attack was purchased recently, locally and legally by the Craddock, a law enforcement source told CBS News.

— Pat Milton

​11 of 12 victims were city employees

Authorities identified the 12 victims killed on Saturday, 11 of them were city employees.

Laquita C. Brown, of Chesapeake
Brown worked as a right-of-way agent at Public Works for 4.5 years.

Tara Welch Gallagher, of Virginia Beach
Gallagher worked as an engineer at Public Works for six years.

Mary Louise Gayle, of Virginia Beach
She worked as a right-of-way agent at Public Works for 24 years.

Katherine A. Nixon, of Virginia Beach
Nixon worked as an engineer for Public Utilities for 10 years.

Richard H. Nettleton, of Norfolk
Nettleton worked as an engineer with Public Utilities for 28 years.

Christopher Kelly Rapp, of Powhatan
Rapp worked as an engineer with Public Works for just 11 months.

Ryan Keith Cox, of Virginia Beach
Cox worked as an account clerk with Public Utilities for 12.5 years

Joshua A. Hardy, of Virginia Beach
Hardy worked as an engineering technician with Public Utilities for 4.5 years.

Michelle “Missy” Langer, of Virginia Beach
Langer worked as an administrative assistant with Public Utilities for 12 years.

Robert “Bobby” Williams, of Chesapeake
Williams worked as a special projects coordinator with Public Utilities for 41 years.

Herbert “Bert” Snelling, of Virginia Beach
Snelling worked as a contractor.

Alexander Mikhail Gusev, of Virginia Beach
Gusev worked as a right-of-way agent for Public Works for nine years.

Gunman identified

Police identified the gunman as Dwayne Craddock on Saturday. Craddock was a public utilities employee for 15 years. Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said Craddock’s family has been notified.

Cervera said Saturday will be the only time police announce the gunman’s name.

“I don’t say I’m in shock, I’m numbed,” vice mayor says

Virginia Beach Vice Mayor James Wood said the three-story building where the shooting occurred is open to the public.

“I think the thing that’s gone through my mind and everybody else is we know these people,” Wood told CBSN in an interview. “I don’t say I’m in shock, I’m numbed.”

Wood, a former police officer, complimented the Virginia Beach police force for their response.

“Long-term gun battle,” police chief says

Virigina Beach police chief James Cervera said at a late press conference that another victim had died on the way to the hospital, bringing the total number of victims to 12 plus the suspected gunman. Four people were taken to local hospitals, and Cervera said some other people had brought themselves to hospitals for treatment.

The suspect used a .45-caliber handgun with a sound suppressor, Cervera said. The suspect, a city employee, was also armed with several magazines. Cervera said they have identified the suspect but it will not be released until after family is notified.

The suspect first opened fire outside the building, and one victim was found shot in a car outside the building, Cervera said. Four officers responded and engaged in what Cervera described as a “long-term gun battle.”

Victims were found on three floors of the municipal building.

At least 90 people have sought assistance from the family assistance center. They are still working on making proper notification of the victims.

“This day will not define Virginia Beach”

Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse sent a message of unity on Friday, saying the city would not be defined by the tragedy.

“We will determine, going forward today, how we respond to our city. We will come together. We will show the strength of our city,” Rouse said at a news conference alongside local police.

Officials update on number of victims

At least 11 people were killed and six others were hospitalized after the shooting Friday, police said at a press conference Friday afternoon. They said the gunman, who was an employee at the building, was also killed.

A local police officer was wounded while confronting the shooter. Chief James Cervera said the officer was saved by his bullet-proof vest and pledged to visit the wounded officer by the end of the night.

Employees describe shooting scene

Megan Banton, an employee who works in the building, told WTKR she could only think about making it home safe to her baby.

“I have an 11-month old baby at home and all I could think about was him and trying to make it home to him,” Branton said.

Sheila Cook, an employee at the courthouse in the building, said her coworkers didn’t realize how close they were to the gunshots.

“We heard shooting, but we didn’t think it was that close, like in proximity of the building,” she said. “Thank God they were able to alert us in time. If it had been 10 minutes, we would have been outside.”

ATF and FBI assisting local authorities

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said they will be assisting local authorities with the investigation.

6 transported to local hospital

Five of the injured were transported to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and one person was transported to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, WTKR reported. According to a Sentara spokesperson, the patient at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital is being air lifted to a trauma center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

The extent of the injuries are currently unclear.

Where the shooting took place

The incident happened at Building 2 in the 2400 block of Courthouse Drive. WTKR reported that the building houses operations, public utilities and public works for the city. It is located in Virginia Beach’s sprawling Municipal Center.

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