Friday, December 8, 2023

Virginia Beach officials ID all 12 victims of Friday mass shooting; shooter was longtime employee and had a security pass

VIRGINIA BEACH – On a rainy and overcast Saturday morning, city officials here identified the victims of the Friday afternoon mass shooting at Building 2 in the city’s municipal complex.

City Manager Dave Hansen said “16 hours ago the lives of 12 people were cut short. They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”

Hansen presented a slide show of all 12 victims, including one of his friends, Richard “Rich” Nettleton, who served with Hansen in the military as a lieutenant in Germany.

Here is a list of all the victims, one of which was not a city employee: Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake, Tara Welch Gallager of Virginia Beach, Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach, Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach, Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach, Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk, Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan, Ryan Keith Cox of Virginia Beach, Joshua A. Hardy of Virginia Beach, Michelle “Missy” Langer of Virginia Beach, Robert “Bobby” Williams of Chesapeake and Herbert “Bert” Snelling of Virginia Beach, who was a contractor filling a permit.

RELATED STORY: Shooter kills 12 people at city’s Municipal Center; mayor calls it ‘the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach’

Police Chief Jim Cervera identified the shooter who died in a gun battle with police, as DeWayne Craddock 40, a 15-year city employee who worked as an engineer for the public works department. He was carrying a .45 caliber handgun with a suppressor and police found multiple empty extended magazines, he said.

The gunman had a security pass to get into the building, Hansen said.

Cervera said government buildings must balance access with security.

“It’s an open government building. Citizens have the right to access open government buildings. Employees have a right to access their work site,” he said.

“We will say his name once and never again,” Cervera said, then “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.”

A Virginia Beach Police officer was shot — he was “saved by his vest,” Cervera said. He was one of the four officers in a “long” gun battle with the suspect.

“This is a large-scale crime scene,” Cervera said, adding the medical examiner is taking over the for the next few hours and 40 members of the FBI’s forensics team and the ATF are helping as well.

“It’s a horrific crime scene,” Cervera said.

Cervera did not reveal a motive of the suspect but did say they recovered additional weapons at the suspect’s home.

Hansen said there will be honor guard officers acting as liaisons for the victims’ families.

The remaining four victims are still in the hospital at this time, and neither Hansen or Cervera would comment on the extent of their injuries.

“We can’t answer a lot of these questions because the investigation continues,” Hansen said.

Sentara, in a statement said: “We currently have four patients from the shooting. At Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, one is in fair condition and two are in critical condition. At Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, one patient is in critical condition.”

The shooting happened in Building 2 of the municipal center which houses the city’s public works, public utilities and planning departments. Cervera said the city offices now resemble a “war zone.”

Hansen said Building 2 will be closed.

“We may have to relocate services,” he said. “We are looking as to what level of services the government will provide.”

For those who would like to volunteer as a chaplain, provide emotional support dogs, supplies or donate to the victims’ families, visit the city’s website for more information.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called for prayers at a Saturday vigil for the victims of a shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building that killed 12 people.

Northam said to pray, not just for the victims, but also for first responders to Friday’s violence because they too are grieving.

President Donald Trump says he’s spoken to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and city officials in Virginia Beach after a shooting at a municipal building killed 12 people.

In a tweet Saturday morning, Trump says he offered condolences to the community and that the federal government is there for whatever is needed.

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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