Families of victims in Virginia Beach massacre may get answers tonight

USA Today 1 month ago

Relatives of the Virginia Beach shooting victims expect to get answers to some of their myriad questions Tuesday, when authorities in Virginia’s largest city release the initial findings of their investigation into the May 31 massacre that claimed 12 lives.

Family members have been invited to a presentation of the findings this evening during a City Council meeting, and will also be allowed to go into Building 2 at the Municipal Center.

That’s where 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock launched a deadly shooting rampage hours after resigning from his job as an engineer in the city’s public utilities department. He was later killed after exchanging gunfire with police.

The building has been closed since the day of the attack, which also left four people seriously injured.

Police have not ascertained a motive for Craddock’s actions, and city officials said his work record showed a satisfactory performance and no disciplinary issues.

That assessment outraged some of the victims’ relatives, who demanded and eventually got an independent investigation. Hillard Heintze, the security firm conducting that inquiry, will also provide an update Tuesday.

Real estate agent Jason Nixon, whose wife, Kate, was murdered in the assault, said she had frequently complained about Craddock’s brusque manner and deficient work, raising her concerns with his superiors.

“It upsets me so much because my wife had written him up so many times to his boss,’’ Nixon told USA TODAY. “It was such a preventable event. There were certainly red flags with this guy, and HR (human resources) did nothing about it. From Day 1 I’ve always said this was about HR policies and procedures.’’

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said the presentation will include more details about the shooter and his work history, as well as what police have determined happened that day.

Nixon, who was among the leading voices calling for an outside entity to investigate, said he plans to visit the site of the killings but won’t bring along his three young daughters. His family and many others have been desperate for more details about that fateful day.

“Right now we need to find out why and how it happened and how we can prevent it,’’ he said.

Contributing: The Associated Press


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