Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Mass shooting info slowly coming to light, as Virginia Beach plans for a memorial

Jim Cevera, police chief for the Virginia Beach Police Department, speaks at press conference at Building 10 of the city's municipal center (Southside Daily/ Julia Marsigliano)
Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cevera speaks at press conference at Building 10 of the city’s municipal center (Julia Marsigliano/WYDaily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The city employee who gunned down 12 people and injured others on Friday at the city’s municipal center legally bought the two firearms he used.

ATF regional special agent Ashan Benedict says all indications are that the guns were bought legally. He says one gun was bought in 2016 and the other was bought last year.

At a news conference Saturday afternoon, He also said there were two other firearms found at the suspect’s home, one was identified and legally purchased.

Benedict declined to elaborate what type of guns those were and when they were purchased by the suspect.

Police also did not release any information about a motive.

On Friday, DeWayne Craddock 40, a 15-year city employee who worked as an engineer for the public works department killed 12 people at Building 2 at the city’s municipal complex.

“We do not have a lot of additional information to give at this time,” police Chief Jim Cervera said Saturday.

Cevera added the FBI had taken over collecting evidence at the scene. He noted the suspect had lived alone and he was not fired from his job.

Stanley Smith, 28 from Virginia Beach, was one of at least 24 city employees outside Building 10 Saturday afternoon waiting to hear about when they could retrieve their vehicles from the crime scene.

Earlier Saturday at a separate news briefing, Sentara officials said three remain hospitalized with serious injuries at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.

Dr. Martin O’Grady, head of the hospital’s trauma unit, said one patient had just gotten out of surgery and another patient faced repeated operations.

Two of the patients being treated at the hospital had suffered “significant” injuries but were expected to survive. O’Grady described a third patient’s injuries as “devastating.” He would not elaborate because of health care privacy laws.

(Southside Daily/Courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)

Authorities said earlier that a fourth patient was receiving treatment at a hospital in Norfolk.

Saturday morning in another part of the city, nearly 200 people came out to pray for the 12 victims.

The gathering drew city workers, community leaders, and residents who just wanted to offer hugs and condolences for the lost lives.

Gov. Ralph Northam also attended the vigil led by a local church.

“We grieve with you” and “we are all in this together,” he told the crowd.

The city will have a public memorial for the victims at Rock Church, 640 Kempsville Road on Thursday, June 6 at 7 p.m. Memorial donations can be dropped off at Building 11 on the lawn facing Princess Anne Road.

For more information about donating to the victims’ families, visit the city’s website.

“We will not be defined by this horror. We will go forward,” said Mayor Bobby Dyer. “We are a city of resiliency and resolve.”


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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