X

People Pray for Unlikely Person at Vigil in Virginia

And we learn more about the shooting victims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2019 5:00 PM CDT
This combination of photos provided by the City of Virginia Beach on Saturday, June 1, 2019 shows victims of Friday's shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Va.   (Courtesy City of Virginia Beach via AP)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – 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, the AP reports. 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. Among the latest news:

  • The shooter, identified as DeWayne Craddock, had been employed for 15 years as an engineer with the city's utilities department. His motive remains unclear.
  • Engineering technician Joseph Scott said he chatted with Craddock right before the shooting in the bathroom. "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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, tells 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.
  • Hundreds of people attended a Saturday prayer vigil for the dead. Scott said he, his wife, and several others prayed for the shooter too. "He was a human too, and his family is hurting too," Scott said. "He's not evil ... he was just another guy who had problems."
(Read more shooting stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
2%
4%
73%
5%
10%
6%