U.S. NEWS
06/01/2019 10:13 EDT | Updated 06/01/2019 16:18 EDT

Virginia Beach Officials Identify Municipal Center Shooting Victims

Many were longtime public works and public utilities employees who lived in the area.

Virginia Beach officials have identified the 12 people killed in Friday’s Municipal Center shooting.

In a Saturday morning press conference, Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen read the names of the victims, many of whom were longtime public works and public utilities employees in the area:

  • Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake, who served in public works for 4 1/2 years and was a right-of-way agent

  • Tara Walsh Gallagher of Virginia Beach, who served in public works as an engineer for more than six years

  • Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach, who served in public works for more than 24 years and was a right-of-way agent

  • Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach, who served in public works for more than nine years and was a right-of-way agent

  • Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach, who served in public utilities as an engineer for more than 10 years

  • Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk, who served in public utilities for more than 28 years as an engineer

  • Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan, who served in public works for 11 months as an engineer

  • Ryan Keith Cox of Virginia Beach, who served in public utilities for more than 12 1/2 years as an accountant

  • Joshua O. Hardy of Virginia Beach, who served in public utilities for 4 1/2 years as an engineering technician

  • Michelle “Missy” Langer of Virginia Beach, who served in public utilities for 12 years as an administrative assistant

  • Robert “Bobby” Williams of Chesapeake, who served in public utilities for more than 41 years as a special projects coordinator

  • Herbert “Bert” Snelling of Virginia Beach, who was a contractor working on filling a permit

Just after 4 p.m. on Friday, police were alerted to shots fired at the city office building, which is part of a large municipal government complex downtown.

According to Police Chief James A. Cervera, an employee had entered the building and began firing indiscriminately at staffers on multiple floors using what is believed to have been .45-caliber handgun with a silencer.

Four officers confronted him at the scene and exchanged fire in what Cervera called a “long-term gun battle,” after which the shooter died.

On Saturday, officials identified the suspect as DeWayne Craddock, a 40-year-old public utilities engineer who had access to the building via a security pass, CNN and The New York Times reported

According to The Associated Press, Craddock was a military veteran described by neighbors as a taciturn man who rarely smiled.

Two months before the shooting on March 30, police had conducted mass shooting training in an effort to prepare for large-scale emergencies, CNN reported.

However, Cervera emphasized that real-life situations are different.

“While we train extensively, while we go over all of our protocols extensively, once you enter an environment such as this, everything changes,” he said. “Things change in a moment’s notice, such as the gun battle with the suspect. So we did train as recent as March 30, but officers had to make instantaneous decisions at that moment in time on how to engage the suspect.”