12 victims identified, all but one were Virginia Beach employees

Virginia Beach holding a public remembrance ceremony Thursday night

By Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The city of Virginia Beach is organizing a service to remember and honor the 12 victims of Friday's shooting.

Julie Hill, the city's communications director, announced during Saturday afternoon's update that the remembrance ceremony, which will be open to the public, will be on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Rock Church at 640 Kempsville Road.

Leading off the news conference was Gov. Ralph Northam, who said he had visited local hospitals and had the chance to thank the doctors, nurses and staff for their hard work. He also said he had talked with the families of some of the victims. 

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer praised the work of police and their response to Friday's shooting.

"But most of all, let me commend the officers, the people that ran into a building with an active shooter shooting .45-caliber bullets and saved many people," said Dyer.

An ATF agent also addressed the media, explaining that the two guns used in the shooting were both .45-caliber pistols. One purchased in 2016 and the other, 2018. He said at this point in the investigation, it appears both were purchased legally.

Two other firearms were recovered from the suspect's home. The one gun that's been identified was legally purchased.

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera expects to release a more detailed timeline of the shooting sometime Sunday.

 

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE

During Saturday morning's news conference, Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen announced the names of the 12 people who died in Friday afternoon's shooting.

Laquita C. Brown, Tara Welch Gallagher, Mary Louise Gayle, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Katherine Nixon, Richard H. Nettleton, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Ryan Keith Cox, Joshua Hardy, Michelle "Missy" Langer and Robert "Bobby" Williams were all Virginia Beach employees.

Herbert "Bert" Snelling was a contractor trying to fill a permit.

Hansen said there are four people who are seriously injured being treated at Virginia Beach and Norfolk hospitals

The suspect, DeWayne Craddock, was still employed, had a security pass and was authorized to enter the building.

He was an engineer with public utilities who had worked there for 15 years.

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera told members of the media that police had been working throughout the night to process the scene.

Forty members of the FBI have assisted Virginia Beach police with processing the crime scene.

Members of the ATF are also assisting.

Cervera said that additional weapons were recovered at the scene and the suspect's home, but he could not comment on specifics.

Police do not have a possible motive at this time.

Cervera said that from the time first call that went out from Building 2, officers were on the scene within minutes.

Hansen discussed the outpouring of support from people looking to help. He said that people can go to the city's website to learn about volunteer opportunities and to make donations to help the families.

Hansen said Building 2, where the shooting happened will be closed for some time.

To avoid an interruption of city-provided services, Hansen said some major services that public utilities provided will be relocated. 

Police have scheduled another briefing for 3 p.m. Saturday.

FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE

Another person who was shot in Virginia Beach Friday afternoon has died, bringing the number of deaths to 12.

"That they should be taken in this manner is the worst kind of tragedy," said Gov. Ralph Northam, as he addressed the media Friday night.

A team of Virginia Beach investigators and detectives are being assisted by FBI and State Police forensic technicians as this investigation continues, according to Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera.

Authorities are now in the process of identifying victims and notifying family members.

Cervera said police do know who the suspect is, but they have not been able to notify all of his family.

Once that process is complete, Cervera said the suspect's name will only be spoken once. Moving forward he will only be referred to as "the suspect."

"We're gonna show the Virginia Beach is a city of resolve and dedication," said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer Friday night.

Cervera said the suspect was using a .45 caliber handgun with multiple extended magazines. 

He said the gun battle that happened in the building between the suspect and officers is best described as a "war zone"

As many as 90 people have sought support form the family assistance center.

Below is the full video from the Friday 9:45 p.m. news conference

ORIGINAL STORY

"This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach," said Dyer before the start of a news conference Friday evening.

Shortly after 4 p.m., the suspect, a longtime employee of public utilities, entered the building and started firing.

Officers responded, securing as many victims as they could and then engaged with the suspect, according to Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera.

Officers returned fire, killing the suspect.

One person shot is a Virginia Beach police officer, who Cervera said was saved by his vest.

FBI is one of the multiple agencies assisting Virginia Beach police with the investigation.

The shooter is not being counted among the 11 dead.

Below is the full video of the 6:45 p.m. Friday news conference

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