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Va. Beach Survivor: What Would Possess Someone to Do This?

Victims, gunman identified after 12 died Friday
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2019 9:15 AM CDT
Two members of a local church embrace Saturday after praying near a municipal building that was the scene of a shooting Friday in Virginia Beach, Va.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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(Newser) – As Virginia Beach tries to make sense of the country's latest mass shooting, which took 12 lives at a municipal building there Friday and injured at least four, more details are trickling out. Officials at a Saturday morning press conference IDed the gunman, who died after being shot by police, as DeWayne Craddock, per the AP—and they say this is the only time we'll hear them call the gunman by his name. Mayor Bobby Dyer calls the shooting "the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach," the state's largest city and a popular vacation destination, the Richmond Times-Dispatch notes. Meanwhile, a local whose husband works in the building next to City Hall where the shooting took place and survived the tragedy says what happened is "unbelievable." "By and large, it's a pretty calm and peaceful place to live," a shocked Cheryl Benn says. More on this story:

  • The 12 victims were IDed at the Saturday morning presser, and 11 of the 12 were city employees who worked for either the Department of Public Works or the Department of Public Utilities, per the Washington Post and WRAL. The last victim was said to be a contractor. Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted a list of the victims' names. "They leave a void we will never be able to fill," City Manager Dave Hansen told reporters.
  • Meanwhile, more on Craddock, a 40-year-old who police Chief James Cervera said engaged in a "long gunbattle" with cops before he was fatally shot, per CNN. Craddock was said to be a certified professional engineer with the public utilities department, and a 1996 news report noted he'd served in the Army National Guard. His record on first search seems to be mostly clean, with just a 2013 motor vehicle infraction.
  • Law enforcement officials tell the Wall Street Journal Craddock was a disgruntled employee bent on revenge, noting that he'd been accumulating firearms in recent weeks. The .45 handgun and rifle he used were legally purchased.

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