The Latest: Mourners gather to remember shooting victims
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the deadly Virginia Beach shooting (all times local):
Hundreds of people have gathered to remember the 12 victims of a mass shooting in Virginia.
City and state officials were among the mourners Sunday at the vigil at Piney Grove Baptist Church in Virginia Beach.
Rabbi Israel Zoberman of Virginia Beach was among the speakers reflecting on the events of the past 48 hours. The son of Holocaust survivors who escaped Poland in World War II said the city “lost its beautiful but also blinding innocence” in the attack.
The vigil closed with the lighting of 12 candles standing alongside a framed photograph of the victims slain by a gunman Friday. A woman read each name aloud as she lit the candles.
A Virginia Beach city employee who survived a deadly shooting at a government building says he was face-to-face with the gunman during the rampage and yelled at him to stop.
Account clerk Terry Inman recalls turning around and seeing DeWayne Craddock standing inside the building with a gun on Friday afternoon. Inman says he shouted at Craddock to stop. Both men worked in the city’s public utilities department.
Craddock turned toward Inman and looked straight at him but didn’t raise the gun or make any other gesture to indicate that he actually saw Inman or anyone else.
After Craddock left the room, Inman and co-worker Ned Carlstrom heard gunshots again. They think that was when their friend and co-worker, Ryan Keith Cox, was killed. Eleven other people were also killed.
Craddock died in the ensuing shootout with police.
The Senate’s top Democrat says a universal background check bill must be brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
Sen. Charles Schumer’s remarks on Sunday came two days after a gunman killed 12 people in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Schumer says the victims were hardworking government employees who were “just snuffed out.”
He says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should bring the bill that would require background checks on all gun sales in the United States to the Senate floor for a vote. The House passed similar legislation in February.
Officials have said the guns used in the shooting were purchased legally.
Still, Schumer says the background check legislation could help prevent future shootings.
Authorities in Virginia say it took 10 minutes – or less – from the time a 911 emergency call was received for police to reach the scene of a mass shooting and track down the gunman.
Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said at a news conference Sunday that emergency communications workers dispatched police and other responders at 4:08 p.m. Friday for a report of shots fired at a city municipal building. The first two officers arrived at the building two minutes later.
Cervera said that between 4:15 p.m. and 4:18 p.m., officers had made “contact” with the gunman and a gunbattle ensued.
Cervera emphasized that locating the gunman was not a straightforward process since the building was constructed in the early 1970s and had since undergone changes to accommodate a growing workforce.
Cervera called the building “a honeycomb” with three floors, numerous entrances and exits, and a basement with a tunnel that connects to another building.
Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said DeWayne Craddock, who killed 12 people Friday in a deadly workplace shooting, died at a local hospital after he’d received first aid from police.
Cervera said at a news conference Sunday that Police immediately tried to help Craddock after he was in a shootout with police in which an officer was shot. Cervera said police got Craddock out of the building and into an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
“Put yourself in that position, you just took numerous rounds, one of your fellow officers was just injured, was shot, you find the individual and then you immediately switch over to ‘I’m going to try and save his life’ because our police officers truly believe in the sanctity of life,” Cervera said.
The injured officer was saved by a bullet proof vest, police said.
The suspected gunman in a Virginia Beach massacre that killed 12 had notified a superior of his intention to resign.
City manager Dave Hansen said at a news conference Sunday that “the perpetrator’s performance was satisfactory” and that he was an employee “in good standing” at the Virginia Beach city department where he worked. Hansen said the employee wasn’t forced to resign.
Hansen said in response to a reporter’s question that the shooter had notified his chain of command of his intention to quit his job via email on Friday, hours before the shooting.
Authorities have identified 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock as the shooter at the municipal building on Friday afternoon. He worked in the city’s utilities department as an engineer.
He was killed following a gun battle with police.
Police Chief James Cervera said he had “no information” to lead to the conclusion that the suspect had targeted anyone specifically.
The 12 people killed in Friday’s mass shooting included 11 city employees who had served Virginia Beach for more than 150 years in total.
City officials honored the victims in a somber slideshow shared Saturday, the same day Police Chief James Cervera identified the assailant as DeWayne Craddock, an engineer with the city’s utilities department. He was killed in a gun battle with police officers.
Another media briefing regarding the shooting at the municipal center is scheduled for Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Virginia Beach officials have said they will only utter Craddock’s name once, employing an increasingly common public information strategy aimed at limiting mass shooters’ platforms and preventing copycat shootings.
Four other people were injured in the shooting, including three who remain hospitalized in critical condition.