Police have said the gunman was a disgruntled employee who succumbed to his injuries after a long gunfight with officers.
The shooting began late Friday afternoon when a man opened fire on all three floors of the municipal center’s Building 2, which houses the operations building for the city that includes multiple departments.
Four officers responded to the reports of the shooting and immediately exchanged fire with the gunman, Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said Friday night.
“I can tell you that it was a long gunbattle between those four officers and that suspect,” Cervera said.
One of the officers who responded was shot, Cervera said, and was saved by his bullet proof vest.
The chief said when the shooter went down, the officers performed CPR .
The FBI responded to the incident to aid local authorities.
The gunman was a professional engineer
The suspect was identified as DeWayne Craddock, according to a law enforcement official and a Virginia government source.
Craddock, 40, worked as a certified professional engineer for the city of Virginia Beach in the Public Utilities Department. He is listed on department press releases as a point of contact for information on local road projects over the last several years. A search of online court records in Virginia Beach and surrounding counties shows Craddock was cited for a motor vehicle infraction in 2013, but nothing else.
While he was identified as the shooter, Cervera said his name will only be mentioned once by Virginia Beach police.
“He will be forever referred to as ‘the suspect,’ because our focus now is the dignity and respect for the victims of this case and to their families,” he said.
Authorities recovered a .45-caliber handgun with extended magazines and a suppressor.
Two law enforcement sources said the weapons appeared to have been legally purchased. One of those sources said the purchases were made in recent weeks.
The victims have yet to be identified
None of the 12 victims were identified Friday.
It was originally reported that 11 had died in the shooting, but it was later updated to 12 as one person died on the way to the hospital, Cervera said. Four other victims are being treated at area hospitals and there are reports of other victims who transported themselves to the hospital.
“This is a horrific day for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Gov. Ralph Northam said Friday. ‘Our hearts ache over the senseless violence that has been inflicted upon the Virginia Beach community today.”
Mayor Bobby Dyer described it as “Virginia Beach’s darkest hour.”
“A senseless crime happened that imposed tremendous grief upon the people of Virginia Beach, the commonwealth and this country,” he said. “I believe that our community, Virginia Beach, along with our neighbors and our other cities in Hampton Roads and our Commonwealth and our country, we’ll be there … for our families. We’re gonna show that Virginia Beach is a city of resolve and dedication.”