Twelve people were killed and four wounded when a longtime city employee opened fire in a Virginia Beach municipal center shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday, during what the city’s mayor, Bobby Dyer, called “the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach.”
All but one of the 12 victims of the mass shooting were employees of the city of Virginia Beach, City Manager Dave Hansen said at a Saturday press conference. The other was a contractor in the building trying to get a permit. “They leave a void that we will never be able to fill,” Hansen said.
Police shot and killed the gunman following a “long gun battle,” authorities said on Friday. The suspect was identified as DeWayne Craddock, a 15-year public utilities engineer who was a current employee at the time of the shooting, during Saturday’s news conference. Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said that authorities would only mention the gunman’s name once “and then he will be forever referred to as ‘the suspect’” to keep the focus on the victims.
These are the victims of the Virginia Beach municipal center shooting:
Laquita C. Brown
Brown was a right of way agent in the public works department for over four years. She lived in Chesapeake.
Tara Welch Gallagher
Gallagher was an engineer in the public works department for six years. She lived in Virginia Beach.
Mary Louise Gayle
Gayle was a right of way agent in the public works department for 24 years. She lived in Virginia Beach.
“She was a super sweet lady; she always had this big smile,” her next-door neighbor John Cushman, told the New York Times. “She would always be out there in the yard, working on something and talking to my daughters.”
Alexander Mikhail Gusev
Gusev was a right of way agent in the public works department for nine years. He lived in Virginia Beach.
Katherine A. Nixon
Nixon was an engineer in the public utilities department for 10 years. She lived in Virginia Beach and was in her early 40s.
Nixon had three daughters, the youngest of which is just 15 months old, with her husband Jason, Nixon’s grandmother, Claudia Blodget, told the Washington Post.
“I still remember teaching her how to quilt when she was a teenager,” Blodget said. “She leaves a hole in the realm that will never be filled.”
Richard H. Nettleton
Nettleton was an engineer in the public utilities department for 28 years. He lived in Norfolk.
Christopher Kelly Rapp
Rapp was an engineer in the public works department for 11 months. He lived in Powhatan.
Tidewater Pipes & Drums, a bagpipe band based in southeastern Virginia, said in a Facebook post that Rapp, who had a passion for Scottish culture, had recently moved to Virginia Beach and joined the group.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that our bandmate, Chris Rapp, was one of the victims of Friday’s senseless shooting,” the band wrote.
Tidewater is planning to play at his funeral service, band manager Jim Roberts said in a statement.
Ryan Keith Cox
Cox was an account clerk in the public utilities department for more than 12 years. He lived in Virginia Beach.
Cox’s older brother, Ervin Cox Jr., told the New York Times that Cox had been working on his first sermon in hopes of following in the footsteps of his father, who is the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Virginia Beach.
“This is hard. It hurts, it hurts deep. Just to have such a senseless thing done to take his life, to take him away from us,” Cox Jr. said. “He was just that caring, loving person that just cared about everybody and wanted to help everybody. He was like that at home and at church.”
Joshua A. Hardy
Hardy was an engineering tech resident in the public utilities department for more than four years. He lived in Virginia Beach.
Michelle “Missy” Langer
Langer was an administrative assistant in the public utilities department for 12 years. She lived in Virginia Beach and was 60 years old.
The Washington Post reports that Langer’s sister-in-law, Kim Langer, described her as a cheerful, fun-loving woman who loved the beach, working in her yard and watching football.
“She was always laughing, always smiling,” Kim said. “We’re very distraught. Can’t believe it’s true. Just unbelievable. This kind of stuff has got to stop.”
Langer is survived by her brother and sister. She will be buried in East Liverpool, Ohio, according to her sister-in-law.
Robert “Bobby” Williams
Williams was a special projects coordinator in the public utilities department for 41 years. He lived in Chesapeake.
Herbert “Bert” Snelling
Snelling was a contractor who was obtaining a permit in the public utilities department when the shooting occurred. He lived in Virginia Beach.
This post will be updated as more details emerge.
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