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Gunman emailed resignation hours before killing 12 people in Virginia Beach’s deadliest shooting

By Peter Coutu • Jun 2, 2019 at 6:01 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Before entering a city building on Friday and killing 12 people, a longtime public utilities engineer had emailed his resignation, providing his superiors with two-weeks’ notice just hours before the tragedy unfolded, officials said today.

They did not provide any details as to what the shooter said in his email or what else he did that morning.

“We’re determining where that letter is,” City Manager Dave Hansen said at a Sunday morning news conference. “He notified his chain of command (Friday).”

Police Chief Jim Cervera opened the news conference by again stressing that the gunman had not been fired nor was he in the process of being let go. It was only when directly asked by a reporter that Hansen revealed the gunman was in the process of resigning.

It’s the first time officials have revealed any changes in the engineer’s employment status, after days of rumors had swirled about him being disgruntled. Officials still did not provide any motive behind the killings, declining to detail any evidence that law enforcement recovered from the shooter’s house beyond the two weapons mentioned Saturday. It’s just day three of a major investigation, they stressed.

Friday’s mass shooting at the Municipal Center ended with 13 dead, including the gunman. Four others remain in critical condition.

Municipal offices in Princess Anne were to be closed on Monday.

Yesterday, officials released the name of the 12 victims. They are: LaQuita Brown, Tara Gallagher, Mary Gayle, Alexander Gusev, Katherine Nixon, Richard Nettleton, Christopher Rapp, Ryan Cox, Joshua Hardy, Michelle “Missy” Langer, Robert “Bobby” Williams and Herbert “Bert” Snelling.

Cervera identified the shooter as DeWayne Craddock, vowing to only say his name one time and to keep the focus on the victims moving forward.

And as the city prepares to offer updates, the rest of Virginia’s largest city continued to mourn, in churches, neighborhoods and near the scene, where a memorial was started.

Jane Hines was out there Sunday morning, near the Municipal Center with several others.

The Lynnhaven Elementary school teacher didn’t personally know any of the victims — but still felt close to the tragedy. At the heart of this sprawling coastal city of 450,000 is a small-town community.

After 30 years in Virginia Beach, she described feeling like the whole situation was “surreal” since the news broke Friday night.

“You hear about (mass shootings) in the news … but not in Virginia Beach,” Hines said. “Never in Virginia Beach.”


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