Sunday, February 25, 2024

Virginia Beach adjust plans for mass shooting remembrance due to the coronavirus

With the coronavirus pandemic keeping residents at home, the city of Virginia Beach is crafting new plans for remembering and honoring victims and survivors of last year’s mass shooting by a city employee.

Acting City Manager Thomas Leahy told city employees in an email that the pandemic ruled out the original plans for an in-person ceremony and other activities designed to bring people together around the anniversary of the May 31 shooting.

The theme for the remembrance is called “Lighting the Path: Together We Remember.” The city is encouraging people to wear blue wear blue on May 29 and decorate homes and buildings with white or blue lights.

A virtual ceremony is planned for May 31. Leahy said the plans are “still taking shape,” with more details expected to be announced next month.

The city employee who killed 12 people had felt that he was treated unfairly after receiving an unfavorable performance review. He died in a gunfight with police.

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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