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'Most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach' | 12 dead after Municipal Center shooting

The FBI still is investigating and collecting evidence in Building 2 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center after the shooting there that killed 12 people.

7 p.m., June 5

FBI and local investigators are currently the only ones allowed inside Building 2 as they collect any remaining evidence from the mass shooting.

Virginia Beach City Leaders are looking at other options for Building 2 employees so they don't have to return to a traumatic workplace.

City Councilmembers promised to do everything they can to support the victims and their families.

The FBI is still working on a thorough 3D scan of the building to determine exactly what happened.

9 a.m., June 5

Crews pitched a tent over the growing Virginia Beach Municipal Center memorial.

Rain is in the forecast for the next few days, so to protect the crosses, balloons, flowers, and other tributes, a large green and black tent was pitched to over everything.

The makeshift memorial is located at one entrance to the municipal center.

7 p.m., June 4

FBI Norfolk is advancing the investigation of the shooting with a 3D scan of Building 2 that helps "paint a clearer picture" of the gun battle and evidence left behind.

Special Agent in Charge Martin Culbreth said a team from Quantico is helping the Bureau reconstruct the scene with 3D technology. He said investigators will continue to review the crime scene through Friday and potentially into early next week.

“In a scene that is as complex as this and a building that is this old and has so many offices and cubicles and filing cabinets, we want to make sure we're as thorough as we can be," Culbreth said.

The FBI is assisting Virginia Beach investigators with evidence recovery and other parts of the investigation.

“We have teams that are down here that are experts in reconstructing what happened and providing a timeline, finding where all the different evidence is located and how it got there," Culbreth said. "It’s what would be expected for the dignity of the victims involved”

Culbreth said the shooting is a "gutwrenching, terrible tragedy" for Virginia Beach and Virginia Beach Police investigators, who are working the crime scene "in their own backyard."

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer allotted time for each Virginia Beach City Council member to speak about the tragedy before Tuesday afternoon's city council workshop. Dyer and others pledged to act to honor the victims and their families.

"The foundation of our soul has been rocked but we will respond," Dyer said. "We will be there for them now and we will be there for them forever, through this adversity we will become stronger."

10 a.m., June 4

A top gun rights advocate in Virginia says Gov. Ralph Northam's plan for a special legislative session on gun control is "political theater."

Philip Van Cleave is president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. He says he "can't think of a single gun control thing that would have prevented what happened at Virginia Beach," and accuses the governor of "trying to deflect from his recent foibles."

The gun lobbyist said it's "pure baloney" that silencers mask the sound of gunshots.

His solution to Friday's killings of 12 people would be loosening restrictions on Virginia Beach city employees from being able to carry concealed handguns at work. He says "there's really nothing other than allowing people to protect themselves until the police get there that would have worked."

6:30 a.m., June 4

City officials return to work Tuesday following the deadly shooting.

All of the Virginia Beach Municipal Buildings reopen on Tuesday, except for Building two where the shooting took place on Friday, May 31. 

RELATED: City of Virginia Beach: What's open, what's closed after deadly shooting

About 400 employees work in Building Two in the City of Virginia Beach in the public works, public utilities, planning, permits, and communications department.

A meeting is planned for Tuesday to figure out where to temporary place building two employees for the time being.

RELATED: What's next for Virginia Beach Municipal Center Building 2 employees?

10 p.m., June 3

Virginia Beach police told ABC news that they confirmed with the ATF that the suppressor used by the suspected gunman in Friday's shooting at the municipal center was purchased legally.

6 p.m., June 3

ABC News talked to law enforcement sources who said that four weapons associated with the shooter were purchased legally.

Investigators recovered two .45 caliber handguns from the crime scene. They found two others in the gunman's home.

The FBI is assisting the City of Virginia Beach in "evidence recovery" at Building 2 on the city's government campus. A FBI spokeswoman said agents from multiple east coast FBI offices will investigate the scene through Friday.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said the city is making accommodations so employees will not have to return to Building 2 "for at least a long while." He said he doesn't want his employees to relive trauma as many of them return to work on Tuesday.

"It was first a shock, but the reality is setting in," Dyer said. "We're going to deal with the people first - the emotion and the trauma. We're going to come back stronger, you have my word on that."

4 p.m., June 3

Officials in Virginia Beach have released the brief resignation letter that was submitted by the man who police say fatally shot 12 people at the municipal building where he worked.

It gives no hint about what he planned to do or why.

DeWayne Craddock's partially redacted resignation letter was released Monday. He said it "has been a pleasure to serve the city, but due to personal reasons I must relieve my position."

The 40-year-old wrote that he wanted to "officially put in my (2) weeks' notice" and vacate his position of "Engineer III with the City of Virginia Beach."

An unidentified person responded stating that he or she hoped that Craddock is able to resolve his personal issues and that Craddock's last day would be Friday June 14.

Craddock responded, writing "Thank you. Yes, that is correct."

The shooting began sometime later.

Authorities say 12 people were killed and several others wounded when DeWayne Craddock opened fire inside the municipal building Friday afternoon. Craddock was killed during a gunbattle with police.

Officials have given no indication why 40-year-old Craddock notified a superior of his intention to leave his job. City Manager Dave Hansen says he was an employee "in good standing."

View the letter below:

RELATED: Official: Gunman's resignation email had no sign of shooting

11 a.m., June 3

Signs of the shooting that killed 12 people still could be seen Monday morning at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

At one entrance stands a memorial made up of bouquets, flags, teddy bears and crosses bearing the names of the shooting's victims. A small group of city employees were crying and hugging each other as they left flowers by one of the crosses.

Volunteers with comfort dogs were on hand.

A section of the compound is still blocked off by law enforcement vehicles and FBI personnel could be seen walking around the complex.

Hundreds of city employees streamed into the Virginia Beach Convention Center in a somber gathering.

It was for employees only. Two city fire trucks were parked outside the convention center. One has a huge American flag hanging from a ladder.

Michelle Walz, a supervisor in the city's Parks Department, said City Manager David Hansen spoke to employees and told them that they will stick together and work through the tragedy as a "family."

The city is making a large number of counselors available for employees.

Authorities say 12 people were killed and several others wounded when DeWayne Craddock opened fire inside the municipal building Friday afternoon. Craddock was an engineer with the city's utilities department and was killed during a gunbattle with police.

11 p.m., June 2

Building 30, the Municipal Department Science Technology building in Virginia Beach, is shining blue to honor the lives lost in the mass shooting. 

Credit: 13News Now

The community has been encouraged by almost all Hampton Roads schools to wear blue on June 3 to honor those who were killed.

RELATED: Superintendent: Virginia Beach City Public School students, staff wear blue Monday; other schools joining in

The Virginia Beach Schools tweeted Saturday night encouraging its students to wear blue to "unite in solidarity with students, staff and community members."

2 p.m., June 2

A memorial has been made in front of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on Princess Anne Road. 

Individuals have visited it to place flowers, cards, wooden crosses, and to pay their respects.

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera even stopped by to honor the lives lost and meet with those who were grieving. He shook people's hands and gave out hugs.

Therapy dogs were even there to support those who were grieving.

10:45 a.m., June 2

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera reiterated during a press conference on Sunday that the mass shooting suspect was not fired from his job as an employee of Virginia Beach.

"He was not in the process of being terminated," Cervera said.

Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen did confirm that DeWayne Craddock resigned by email on the day of the shooting.

FULL COVERAGE: Tragedy in Virginia Beach

Police are still looking for a motive on why the suspect killed 12 of his coworkers at the municipal center.

Cervera said the original call of the shooting came in around 4:08 p.m. Friday. Virginia Beach police and other agencies responded immediately.

Cervera gave more information about the gun battle that ensued between the gunman and four police officers.

Officers found the suspect on the second floor and he was moving through the building, Cervera said.

He said the number of shots fired between the officers and the suspect was "well into the double digits."

The police chief commended his officers, other agencies and 911 dispatchers for their quick work during the chaos.

Hansen said all municipal offices will be closed Monday at the municipal center. Schools and courts will operate as usual. On Tuesday, all municipal center buildings will be open with the exception of Building 2.

Suspect's photo released

13News Now obtained a photo of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center suspect, DeWayne Craddock. The image is from the Newport News Daily Press.

9:50 p.m., June 1

A handwritten note at the home of the Virginia Beach shootings suspect, who died in a shootout with police, expresses condolences to the shooting victims on behalf of the suspect's family.

The Washington Post reports the note was taped Saturday to the front door of the two-story house on the wooded road where DeWayne Craddock lived about an hour from the city.

It says: "The family of DeWayne Craddock wishes to send our heart felt condolences to the victims. We are grieving the loss of our loved one." It says Craddock's family wants to focus on the victims of the shootings and offers thoughts and prayers for the relatives of the dead and wounded.

Credit: ABC News

8:00 p.m., June 1

Investigators are still combing through evidence and interviewing witnesses to determine how Friday's mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center happened... and why.

FBI agents continue to actively work just feet from a memorial of 12 American flags and bouquets of flowers. It is a stark reminder of the tragedy that is still hard to grasp.

"Now that we've had 24 hours, some of the numbness is wearing off and it's starting to sink in about these people who have died," said Drew Lankford with Virginia Beach Public Works.

Lankford knew most of the victims who worked in his department. A woman he was closest to just had a baby.

"It couldn't have been easy, saying goodbye to the baby yesterday morning," Lankford said. "She was just going to work. That's what really eats at me about this guy."

At a press conference on Saturday, police confirmed a long-time city worker was the gunman. Police said he went floor-to-floor in Building 2, shooting indiscriminately until police officers shot him dead in what Chief Jim Cervera called a long gun battle that lasted several minutes.

An ATF agent said the shooter used two .45 caliber pistols in his rampage.

"Both pistols were purchased by the shooter and all indications are they were purchased legally," said ATF regional special agent Ashan Benedict. 

Authorities said two additional guns were found at the shooter's home, where he lived by himself.

"At this time, we're also working with our law enforcement partners to look at the ballistics from the weapons discharge, and also the ballistic knifing to see if they correspond with any other shootings," said Benedict.

"It's a time-consuming, meticulous process," Chief Cervera added. "It is not what you see on TV. It is not what you see in the movies."

Police are still investigating a motive. They're tight-lipped about any additional evidence found in the suspect's house and if they have reason to believe the attack was planned.

"It's not just arrogance, it's evil," Lankford said of the gunman. "Uncaring. I don't want to hear any excuses."

6:30 p.m., June 1

Four were engineers who worked to maintain streets and protect wetlands. Three were right-of-way agents who reviewed property lines. The others included an account clerk, a technician, an administrative assistant, and a special projects coordinator. In all, they had served the city of Virginia Beach for more than 150 years.

These 11 city employees and one contractor were wiped out Friday when a fellow city worker opened fire inside a municipal building. A day after the shooting, city officials sought to honor them by sharing their job titles and years of service in a somber slideshow.

"They leave a void that we will never be able to fill," said City Manager Dave Hansen, who had worked for years with many of the dead.

Police Chief James Cervera identified the assailant as DeWayne Craddock, who had been employed for 15 years as an engineer with the city's utilities department. He declined to comment on a motive for the rampage, which ended with Craddock's death in a gun battle with officers. City officials uttered his name just once and said they would not mention it again.

Joseph Scott, an engineering technician with the utilities department, said he had worked with Craddock and had a brief interaction with him Friday, passing him in the men's restroom about five minutes before the shooting.

"He was in there brushing his teeth, which he always did after he ate," Scott said. "I said 'Hey, how you doing? What are you doing this weekend?' It was just a brief conversation."

Scott said he left for the day right after and learned of the shooting when a co-worker and then his son called him asking if he was OK.

"I couldn't believe that it happened," he said.

One of the dead employees had worked for the city for 41 years. Six worked in the same department as Craddock, though authorities have declined to say if anyone was specifically targeted or if the suspect had issued threats before. The victims were found throughout the building, on three floors, police said.

The municipal building was open to the public, but security passes were required to enter inner offices, conference rooms and other work areas. As a current employee, Craddock would have had the pass to enter the inner offices, Hansen said.

In response to a reporter's question, Cervera said the gunman had not been fired.

One of the dead, Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan, enjoyed Scottish music and joined a pipe band last fall. He played with the group in October during a Celtic festival in Virginia and marched with bandmates on St. Patrick's Day.

"Chris was reserved but very friendly, quietly engaging members one-on-one after our weekly practices," the band, Tidewater Pipes & Drums, said in a statement.

Another victim, Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach, was described as a "super sweet lady" who always had a big smile. "She would always be out there in the yard, working on something and talking to my daughters," John Cushman, Gayle's next-door neighbor, told The New York Times.

The other employees who were killed were identified as Tara Welch Gallagher, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Katherine A. Nixon, Ryan Keith Cox, Joshua O. Hardy and Michelle "Missy" Langer, all of Virginia Beach; Laquita C. Brown and Robert "Bobby" Williams, both of Chesapeake; and Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk. The 12th victim, Herbert "Bert" Snelling of Virginia Beach, was a contractor who was in the building to seek a permit.

The police and fire departments were to assign members of their honor guards to help each victim's family.

4:30 p.m., June 1

An official with the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives says investigators have identified two .45 caliber pistols used in the shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building that killed 12.

Speaking at a news conference Saturday afternoon, ATF regional special agent Ashan Benedict says all indications are that the guns were bought legally. He says one gun was bought in 2016 and the other was bought last year.

Benedict says two other weapons were found at the gunman's home.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of the victims.

Trump said in a statement released by the White House on Saturday that he was ordering the action as a "mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence" on Friday.

Three victims who survived the shooting remain hospitalized with serious injuries at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.

Dr. Martin O'Grady told a news conference Saturday that one patient had just gotten out of surgery and another patient faced repeated operations for wounds inflicted when a gunman opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach.

O'Grady is head of the hospital trauma unit. He said two of the patients being treated at the hospital had sustained "significant" injuries but were expected to survive. He described a third patient's injuries as "devastating." He would not elaborate due to health care privacy laws.

Authorities said earlier that a fourth patient was receiving treatment at a hospital in Norfolk.

11:44 a.m., June 1

Gov. Ralph Northam attended and spoke at a prayer vigil in Virginia Beach on Saturday morning.

"We all experienced a horrific tragedy yesterday afternoon. Twelve precious lives they came to work yesterday morning to serve this great city of Virginia Beach, thinking they would go home and start their weekend and be with their families," Northam said.

"And that didn't happen for them. And we must remember they all had families they all had loved ones, they were parents, they were daughters, sisters, brothers — and now there's a void in their families."


The Norfolk FBI is asking the public for information about the shooting.

8:30 a.m., June 1

All but one of the 12 victims were employees for the city of Virginia Beach, according to Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen at a Saturday morning press conference.

The victims:

  • Laquita C. Brown: Public Works employee - 4 years, Right-of-Way Agent, Chesapeake

  • Tara Welch Gallagher: Public Works employee - 6 years, Engineer, Virginia Beach

  • Mary Louise Gayle: Public Works employee - 24 years, Right-of-Way Agent, Virginia Beach

  • Alexander Mikhail Gusev: Public Works employee - 9 years, Right-of-Way Agent, Virginia Beach

  • Katherine A. Nixon: Public Utilities employee - 10 years, Engineer, Virginia Beach

  • Richard H. Nettleton: Public Utilities employee - 28 years, Engineer, Norfolk

  • Christopher Kelly  Rapp: Public Works employee - 11 months, Engineer, Powhatan

  • Ryan Keith Cox: Public Utilities employee - 12.5 years, Account Clerk, Virginia Beach

  • Joshua A. Hardy: Public Utilities employee, 4.5 years, Engineering Technician, Virginia Beach

  • Robert "Bobby" Williams: Public Utilities employee, 41 years, Special Projects Coordinator, Chesapeake

  • Michelle "Missy" Langer: Public Utilities employee, 12 years, Administrative Assistant, Virginia Beach

  • Herbert "Bert" Snelling: Contractor, Virginia Beach

2:16 a.m., June 1

ABC News said two law enforcement officials who'd been briefed on the investigation said DeWayne Craddock recently was fired from his position as a city employee.


Virginia Beach Police say 12 people are dead following a shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. The suspected shooter is also dead following a shootout with police.

Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera said the suspect was a current, longtime employee of Virginia Beach Public Utilities who opened fire and shot "indiscriminately" at workers inside an operations building in the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on Friday afternoon.

RELATED: Witnesses recall moments of deadly shooting at Virginia Beach Municipal Center

Chief Cervera initially said there were 11 victims killed total, in addition to the suspected gunman who was killed by police in a shootout. In a later update, Cervera confirmed a 12th victim had died while being taken to the hospital.

RELATED: Officer saved by bulletproof vest after being shot by Virginia Beach gunman

The police chief did not identify the suspect, but two law enforcement sources confirmed to ABC News that DeWayne Craddock, 40, is the alleged suspect in the shooting. 

Cervera said the gunman used .45-caliber handgun with a suppressor.

Cervera added that a long gun battle erupted between the shooter and four police officers. 

According to Dale Gauding, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, three patients are in Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, two being in critical condition and one in fair condition.

Gauding said Sentara Virginia Beach General first received five patients, but two have died. 

One patient at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in critical condition. That patient first went to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital near the city complex, but was later picked up by Sentara Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the regional Level I trauma center.

One other patient arrived at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital on their own and has since been released.

RELATED: Vigils planned following Virginia Beach municipal center shooting

At a news conference, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer described it as "the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach."

Municipal Center, Building 2 holds several city governmental operations, including public works, public utilities, and planning departments. It is adjacent to City Hall.

The victims were found across three floors of the building, with one victim shot in a car outside the building.

In a statement, Governor Ralph Northam called it "a horrific day for the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are devastated by the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach. I am in Virginia Beach with law enforcement authorities and Mayor Dyer, where I am monitoring the situation and offer the state’s full support." 

Northam also said, “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. I commend local and state law enforcement, first responders, medical teams, and all others who acted swiftly to respond to this situation. My thoughts continue to be with the victims and their families."

Families and loved ones of employees at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center who are not hearing anything can go to Princess Anne Middle School at 2323 Holland Road.

RELATED: #LoveForVB: The community reacts and mourns following Virginia Beach shooting

Megan Banton, an administrative assistant who works in the building where the shooting happened, said she heard gunshots, called 911 and barricaded a door.

"We tried to do everything we could to keep everybody safe," she said. "We were all just terrified. It felt like it wasn't real, like we were in a dream. You are just terrified because all you can hear is the gunshots."

RELATED: Politicians call for action following Virginia Beach mass shooting

She said she texted her mom, telling her that there was an active shooter in the building and she and others were waiting for police. Banton works in an office of about 20 people that is part of the public works department.

"Thank God my baby is OK," Banton's mother, Dana Showers, said.

A spokesperson for the FBI confirms the bureau is assisting Virginia Beach Police.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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