VIRGINIA BEACH -- Officials identified Saturday morning the 12 people who were killed by a longtime Virginia Beach city employee on Friday afternoon in what Mayor Bobby Dyer described as “Virginia Beach’s darkest hour.”

All but one of the 12 victims worked for the city, according to officials. The other victim was a contractor inside the building to get a permit, City Manager Dave Hansen said Saturday.

Police also identified the shooter as DeWayne Craddock, 40, who was an engineer for the city in its Department of Public Utilities, which is housed in the same building police say Craddock entered Friday afternoon and began shooting people at random.

Police Chief James Cervera officially identified Craddock on Saturday morning at a news conference in a different building in the city’s government complex. Police scanners and multiple media outlets had initially identified Craddock on Friday.

Cervera declined to give a motive for the shooting, saying the police department's investigation is ongoing.

He was a current city employee and had worked for Virginia's largest city for 15 years. A 1996 Daily Press article said Craddock served in the Army National Guard and was a graduate of Denbigh High School in Newport News.

The shooting started Friday afternoon around 4 p.m. when Craddock shot a person in their car before entering Building No. 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Government Complex, Cervera said.

Once inside the building, which Cervera said Craddock had access to as a current city employee, he “immediately began to indiscriminately fire upon all of the victims,” Cervera said.

Four police officers - two detectives and two canine units - responded as city employees scrambled out of the building. They were met by the shooter, who was armed with a .45 caliber handgun that had a silencer. Police were working overnight to figure out if the gun was obtained legally.

After what Cervera described as a “long gunbattle,” in which a police officer was shot, the shooting stopped when Craddock was shot, Cervera said. Police officers rendered first aid, but he died soon after, the police chief said. The police officer survived.

City police had received active shooting training as recent as March 30, Cervera said Saturday morning.

"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."

While he didn’t identify Craddock on Friday night, Cervera said when he did release the suspect’s name, which happened Saturday morning, the suspect would be named just once and after that “he will be forever referred to as the suspect because our focus now is the dignity and respect to the victims in this case and to their families.”

Cervera said more weapons were found at Craddock's home and at the scene. 

The victims are:

  • Laquita C. Brown, Right of Way Agent in the Department of Public Works, Chesapeake
  • Tara Welch Gallagher, Engineer in the Department of Public Works, Virginia Beach
  • Mary Louise Gayle, Right of Way Agent in the Department of Public Works, Virginia Beach
  • Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Right of Way Agent in the Department of Public Works, Virginia Beach
  • Katherine A. Nixon, Engineer in the Department of Public Utilities, Virginia Beach
  • Richard H. Nettleton, Engineer in the Department of Public Utilities, Virginia Beach
  • Christopher Kelly Rapp, Engineer in the Department of Public Works, Powhatan
  • Ryan Keith Cox, Account Clerk in the Department of Public Utilities, Virginia Beach
  • Joshua A. Hardy, Engineering Technician in the Department of Public Utilities, Virginia Beach
  • Michelle "Missy" Langer, Administrative Assistant in the Department of Public Utilities, Virginia Beach
  • Robert "Bobby" Williams, Special Projects Coordinator in the Department of Public Utilities, Chesapeake
  • Herbert "Bert" Snelling, Contractor, Virginia Beach

"They leave a void we will never be able to fill," said Hansen, the city manager. "Today we all grieve."

Another press conference has been scheduled for 3 p.m.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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jmattingly@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6012

Twitter: @jmattingly306​

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