Virginia beach shooting: at least 12 dead after city worker opens fire at colleagues

The incident is believed to be the deadliest mass shooting of 2019, with a death toll of 13 people including the shooter, who was reportedly using extended capacities magazines against civilians.

The afternoon of Friday, May 31, another mass shooting hit the US, this time in a Virginia Beach municipal center, where a “disgruntled employee” opened fire against people who shared their workplace with the perpetrator.

The subject, 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock, was taken down by the local police following a long gunfight with the officers, after he shot at least 12 people dead and injured several others, as Police Chief James Cervera told CNN.

TRAGEDY UNFOLDS

"This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach. The people involved are our friends, coworkers, neighbor, colleagues," Mayor Bobby Dyer lamented.

Craddock was a certified professional engineer serving in the Public Utilities Department. He went through all three floors of the city’s municipal center Building 2 shooting indiscriminately, as the facility was still on working hours.

"We kept hearing gunshots, and we kept hearing the cops saying, 'Get down,'" witness Megan Banton said.

"And it was very muffled, but the stairwell was right next to the office. So we kept hearing, like, people talking, and we heard the K-9s come up the steps," she added.

INVESTIGATION IN PROGRESS

A pistol and a rifle were recovered by the authorities after they regained control of the situation, and everything seems to indicate that the weapons were purchased legally.

Following the standoff, the local police have received external support from the FBI and state police, which sent a forensics team to the site.

The investigation is yet to find out about Craddock’s motives behind the attack. He is believed to have acted alone on this.

THE WORST IN VIRGINIA BEACH’S HISTORY

The Gun Violence Archive registers at least 150 mass shootings within the first five months of 2019, but this incident marks the deadliest of the year so far.

It is also believed to be the worst mass killing event in the city’s history, with the last shooting spree occurring in 1994 when four people were murderer at the local Witchduck Inn restaurant.

“My deepest condolences and prayers go to the families of those who left home this morning, and will not return tonight, as well as those who have been injured in this tragedy. This is unspeakable, senseless violence,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam tweeted.