Thursday, July 18, 2024

Virginia Beach mass shooting aftermath: Building 2 may not reopen

The mass shooting happened in Building 2, May 31, 2019. (Southside Daily/Melanie Occhiuzzo)
The mass shooting happened in Building 2, May 31, 2019. (Southside Daily/Melanie Occhiuzzo)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Building 2 at the city’s Municipal Center where the shooting Friday that killed 12 people and injured others happened, may not reopen.

That’s according to Vice Mayor James Wood.

Police Chief James Cervera said the site resembled a “war zone.”

About 400 public works, utilities, and planning department workers are displaced as the investigation continues in Building 2.

“The city manager committed to the employees that no employees that were in Building 2 on Friday would have to walk back in Building 2 again,” Wood said.

Plans for the departments housed there to move to other city spaces, privately leased spaces, or consolidated workspaces are underway, he said.

Ongoing plans to renovate buildings in the Municipal Center were to begin this summer with the construction of a new Building 1 with some changes.

“This basically re-adjusts the master plan as to where things are going to go,” Wood said.

And, even if the city does re-open Building 2, it won’t be the same again with different departments.

“My guess is Building 2 would be substantially and completely renovated from top to bottom before anybody goes back in there,” he said.

One thing not in construction plans is a permanent memorial.

“I feel certain there will be some memorialization of the event, but for now, we’ve got to get our people back in good shape,” Wood said. “We need to help the families of the victims and we need to help the surviving employees who’ve been displaced and exposed to this violence.”

Among the dead from that carnage were four other engineers who worked to maintain streets and protect wetlands and three right-of-way agents who reviewed property lines. Others included an account clerk, a technician, an administrative assistant and a special projects coordinator. In all, they had served the city of Virginia Beach for more than 150 years.

Twelve crosses were erected in front of Building 11 with a photo of each victim, mementos from mourners and sharpies for people to write notes on the crosses.

(Southside Daily/Melanie Occhiuzzo)
(Southside Daily/Melanie Occhiuzzo)

Cervera identified the shooter, who died in a gunbattle with police, as DeWayne Craddock 40, a longtime city employee who worked as an engineer in that building. He sent an emailed resignation letter to his boss just hours before the shooting.

Officials at Sentara Hospital said one patient at Norfolk General is in serious condition and three others were critical condition on Sunday but their families have since asked for privacy.


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