Law enforcement officers and forensic detectives have been mostly unable to find clues as to why a 40-year-old employee entered a Virginia Beach Municipal building with a gun and killed 12 people, severely injuring several more.
The victims included: Herbert “Bert” Snelling, LaQuita Brown, Tara Gallagher, Mary Gayle, Alexander Gusev, Katherine Nixon, Richard Nettleton, Christopher Rapp, Ryan Cox, Joshua Hardy, Michelle “Missy” Langer, and Robert “Bobby” Williams.
“The reason why DeWayne Craddock shot up a Virginia Beach municipal building on Friday may have died with him,” Reuters reports. “He left no note, Internet message or manifesto, that police have announced. Police said he had no specific person as a target, shooting indiscriminately, including his first victim in a vehicle in the parking lot before he went inside.”
Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera described the shooter as “disgruntled” but offered little further evidence for his actions or what led him to launch the indiscriminate attack.
“We have more questions than we really have answers,” Cervera told a group of reports.
One detail these investigators have learned is that initial reports of the shooter having been fired were wrong. Cervera clarified, as the Washington Examiner reports, that the shooter was a longtime employee of the city’s public utilities department and was in good standing with his supervisors.
He was not fired and the city was not considering letting him go, the Virginian-Pilot adds, but it has been learned the shooter submitted his two weeks’ notice to leave prior to his rampage.
“So many things are going on, and all the questions so far have been focused on whether or not he was fired and whether or not he was in the process of being fired. That’s a hard ‘No,’” said Linda Kuehn, the police spokeswoman. “And there’s a huge difference. People leave to go to other jobs all the time.”
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Before gunning down 12 people at a city building on Friday, a longtime public utilities engineer had emailed his resignation to superiors, giving two weeks’ notice just hours before the tragedy unfolded, officials said Sunday.
They did not provide any details about the gunman’s email or what else he did that morning.
“We’re determining where that letter is,” City Manager Dave Hansen said at a Sunday morning news conference. “He notified his chain of command that morning.”
Officials still did not provide any motive behind the killings, declining to discuss any evidence that law enforcement recovered from the shooter’s house. On Saturday, authorities said they confiscated two guns from his condo. Investigators are still looking into his personal and work life.
Police Chief Jim Cervera provided a minute-by-minute breakdown of how the tragedy unfolded, after again stressing that the gunman had not been fired nor was he in the process of being let go in the days leading up to the city’s deadliest shooting.