The Virginia Beach Shooter Resigned The Morning Of The Attack

Police say they are still determining the motive for the shooting that killed 12 people.

The man who opened fire on his colleagues at a municipal building in Virginia Beach on Friday, killing 12 people, had sent his resignation letter in that morning.

Police have not speculated on the motive of the shooter, 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock, but he was not facing termination at the time of the attack, nor was he facing any disciplinary action.

"To my knowledge, the perpetrator's performance was satisfactory, he was in good standing within his department, and there were no issues of discipline ongoing," Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen said at a Sunday press conference.

Craddock had emailed a letter of resignation, giving two weeks' notice, on Friday morning. It was hours before he opened fire at Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center shortly after 4 p.m.

Twelve people were killed in the shooting, 11 of whom were city workers and the shooter's colleagues.

Police did not say when Craddock arrived at the building or if he'd been working before opening fire.

Police Chief Jim Cervera said that as of Sunday, there was no information indicating that the shooter was targeting anyone. In earlier statements, police said the shooter fired "indiscriminately."

"One of the pieces of the investigation will include the motive for this horrific act," Cervera said on Sunday. "We don’t have anything glaring, there’s nothing that hits you between the eyes."

Cervera also went over the timeline of the attack. Police were dispatched to the scene at 4:08 p.m. and the first officers arrived within two minutes. The Virginia Beach Police Department's headquarters is in the same municipal complex, about 300 yards away.

Five to eight minutes later, first responders made contact with the shooter on the second floor of the building.

The building, constructed in the 1970s, was like a "honeycomb," Cervera said. Originally built for a smaller workforce, the office space had been subdivided over the years and turned into a "maze."

Immediately after finding the shooter, police engaged in what Cervera called a "long gun battle." The number of rounds fired by the suspect was "well into the double digits," he said.

"In the police world, anything more than three to five shots is a long gun battle," Cervera said.

At 4:19 p.m., Craddock shot a police officer, injuring him. Soon after, the shooter entered an office and continued to fire through the door and wall. When he ceased fire, officers made the decision to enter the room.

The shooter was found alive in the office, but wounded. Cervera emphasized that police immediately administered first aid, but the shooter was pronounced dead sometime after arriving at a hospital.

In all, 36 minutes transpired between the initial call and when the shooter was taken away from the scene. During that time, others, including the fire department and emergency responders, were moving through the building to extract civilians.

Hansen said schools and courts will open as usual on Monday, but the municipal center will be closed at the city works to relocate employees.

In the meantime, the family members of all the victims have now been notified and four people remain in hospitals with injuries.

"We will be wrapping our arms around them as they’re coming out of their surgeries," Hansen said. "They are progressing and our prayers are with them."

Craddock's family has posted a condolence message to victims on the door of their home in Yorktown, Virginia.

"The family of DeWayne Craddock wishes to send our heart felt condolences to the victims," said the message, posted on the door of a family member.

In their message, the family said that although they are grieving too, they want the focus to be on the victims.

"We are grieving the loss of our loved one. At this time we wish to focus on the victims and the lives lost during yesterday's tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who loss their lives, and those recovering in the hospital."

It was signed "The Craddocks."

BuzzFeed News was unable to reach anyone at the phone number listed for members of the Craddock family.


Police Chief Jim Cervera's name was misspelled in an earlier version of this post.

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