Virginia Beach gunman was engineer with military training

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A gunman who killed 12 people at a municipal building in Virginia Beach has been named as DeWayne Craddock – an engineer with military training.

Craddock, who was shot dead after a lengthy gun battle, was employed as an engineer with the city’s public utilities department, police chief James Cervera said.

The 40-year-old had worked for the city for 15 years and used a handgun fitted with a silencer to kill his victims.

Virginia Beach gunman was engineer with military training
Image:
Virginia Beach city manager Dave Hansen speaking to reporters

“Additional weapons” were found both at the scene and at his home, police said.

Speaking after the incident, neighbours said he was “very quiet” and “would just wave”.

Mr Cervera declined to discuss a motive.

City manager Dave Hansen said the victims’ families had been informed of their deaths through the night by chaplains and family assistance workers.

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It was the “most difficult task anyone will ever have to do”, Mr Hansen said, adding that he had worked with most of the victims for many years.

They leave a “void that we will never be able to fill”, he said.

Eleven of those who died were employed by the city.

They have been named as Laquita C Brown, Tara Welch Gallager, 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 “Bobby” Williams.

The 12th victim was contractor Herbert “Bert” Snelling.

Four others were wounded, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life.

Virginia Beach gunman was engineer with military training
Image:
Virginia state troopers guarding a roadblock following the shooting

Most of the victims were found across three floors of an “operations building” next door to City Hall.

One was shot dead in a car outside, while another died in an ambulance on the way to hospital.

According to a newspaper report from the time, Craddock graduated from Denbigh High School in Newport News in 1996 and joined the Army National Guard – a reserve force, and was trained at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

Later, he graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in civil engineering.

He does not appear to have had a criminal record.

Officials said they would never refer to Craddock by name again. “He will be forever referred to as the suspect because our focus now is the dignity and respect to the victims in this case and to their families,” Mr Cervera said.

Virginia Beach, which sits on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, is the most populous city in Virginia, with about 450,000 residents.