Twelve people were killed Friday afternoon in a shooting massacre at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. Eleven of the victims were Virginia Beach city employees; one was a contractor trying to fill a permit.
At a press conference Saturday, Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen read the victims’ names as slides with their pictures appeared behind him:
Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake; Tara Welch Gallagher of Virginia Beach; Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach; Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach; Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach; Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk; Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan; Ryan Keith Cox of Virginia Beach; Joshua A. Hardy of Virginia Beach; Michelle “Missy” Langer of Virginia Beach; Robert “Bobby” Williams of Chesapeake; and Herbert “Bert” Snelling of Virginia Beach.
“I have worked with most of them for many years,” he said. “We want you to know who they were, so in the days and weeks to come, you will learn what they meant to all of us, to their families, to their friends and to their coworkers. They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”
The gunman, who was killed during a firefight with police, has been identified as DeWayne Craddock, who’d been an engineer in the city’s public utilities department for 15 years. Police recovered additional weapons at the scene and Craddock’s home, Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said.
“This is a large-scale crime scene, it’s a horrific crime scene, and please understand, it takes not only a physical, [but also an] emotional and psychological toll on everyone who spent the night inside that particular building,” Cervera said.
Cervera said the incident ended with a “long term, large gun fight.” On March 30, he said, first responders trained for a “large scale event such as this.” But, he said, “once you enter an environment such as this, everything changes.”
Hansen said four “seriously injured” people were still in local hospitals.
“A lot of us have said a lot of prayers that we’re able to pull them through,” he said.