Suspect Identified in Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

Photographs and names of the 12 victims were announced during a news conference June 01, 2019 in Virginia
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Virginia Beach, Va., officials identified 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock as the lone gunman who opened fire on a municipal complex Friday afternoon, killing at least 12 people and injuring several others. The Wall Street Journal reports the shooting was in retaliation for being fired from his job with the city.

According to the New York Times, public records show Craddock had been an engineer in the Department of Public Utilities, the city’s water and sanitary sewer services branch, for about 15 years. He previously worked for private companies. He’s said to have “no obvious criminal history,” the Times reports, other than traffic violations. CNN reports that he enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1996 as a cannon crew member.

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The engineer was carrying two .45-caliber weapons, at least one with a sound suppressor, according to the New York Times. The guns were also equipped with extended magazines. Officials claimed that so far there has been no indication that Craddock targeted specific people or employees during the rampage.

Craddock died during a gun battle with police.

At a Saturday morning news conference, Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said he would say the suspect’s name only once in public. The effort appears to be part of a larger push to withhold any semblance of fame or public recognition from those who carry out such disgusting acts of terror.

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CNN spoke to Craddock’s parents by phone Friday evening; they told the news network that Craddock did work for Virginia Beach’s public utility department, but they didn’t know about any problems their son was having on the job.

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The suspect’s neighbors have been shocked and terrified to hear the news. Cassetty Howerin, 23, said that Craddock was often awake during the midnight and early morning hours.

“You heard him walking around; he would drop stuff at like 2 a.m., and me and my roommate would try to figure out what he was doing,” Howerin told CNN. “I never saw him take trash out, never saw him bring groceries in, never saw people coming in or out. He was very to himself. I live right under him, so that could have easily been me or my girlfriend or my roommate.”

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All but one of the 12 victims were city employees. The authorities identified them as Laquita C. Brown, Tara Welch Gallagher, Mary Louise Gayle, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Katherine A. Nixon, Richard H. Nettleton, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Ryan Keith Cox, Joshua A. Hardy, Michelle “Missy” Langer and Robert Williams.

The other victim, Herbert Snelling, was a contractor visiting the office to file a permit. 

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Correction: Sept. 16, 2019, 10:08 a.m. ET: This story has been edited to remove unattributed text and add fuller sourcing. 

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