The suspect in the shooting deaths of 12 people Friday at a municipal building in Virginia Beach has been identified as Dwayne Craddock, a longtime public utility employee.
Police Chief James Cervera said at a Saturday morning news conference the gunman was a disgruntled worker who was killed by police in what he described as “long-term” shootout. Cervera said a motive had not yet been determined.
Authorities focused on the victims during the news conference, naming each one as photos of them were projected on a screen along with biographical information.
City Manager Dave Hansen said all but one of the murdered victims were Virginia Beach employees and one was a contractor. Hansen said he worked for years with many of the victims and that they would “leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”
Cervera said Friday the shooter “immediately and indiscriminately fired upon all the victims” after he entered the municipal building shortly after 4 p.m. Friday.
Officials said at four others were wounded in the shooting.
Witnesses say the shooting took place at Building Two of the Virginia Beach municipal complex, which houses the city’s public works, public utilities and planning departments.
Cervera said one police officer was among those who was hit by gunfire but said the officer survived. The chief said the gunfight with the officers prevented the suspect from killing more victims.
He said in investigators believe the suspect acted alone. The gunman used a .45-caliber pistol equipped with a “sound suppressor” device and “extended” ammunition magazines that he reloaded repeatedly during the attack.
Reaction to the shooting
“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” Mayor Bobby Dyer said at the Friday news conference. “The people involved are our friends, co-workers, neighbors, colleagues.”
The White House said U.S. President Donald Trump had been briefed and was monitoring the situation. As of Saturday morning, Trump had not commented on the murders.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam traveled to Virginia Beach Friday and said he had offered the state’s full support.
“This is unspeakable, senseless violence,” he said in a statement.
Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner said Friday, “I am horrified by what has happened today in Virginia Beach.”
Tim Kaine, Virginia’s other U.S. Senator, said on Twitter, “My heart is with everyone who lost a loved one, and I’m praying for a swift recovery for all those who have been injured.”
The killings were the latest in a growing list of mass shootings in the U.S. It was the deadliest mass shooting since November when a gunman killed 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California before killing himself. A policeman also died of gunshot wounds after responding to calls for help in that instance.