VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the deadly Virginia Beach shooting:

7:45 p.m.

Hundreds of people have gathered to remember the 12 victims of a mass shooting in Virginia.

City and state officials were among the mourners Sunday at the vigil at Piney Grove Baptist Church in Virginia Beach.

Rabbi Israel Zoberman of Virginia Beach was among the speakers reflecting on the events of the past 48 hours. The son of Holocaust survivors who escaped Poland in World War II said the city “lost its beautiful but also blinding innocence” in the attack.

The vigil closed with the lighting of 12 candles standing alongside a framed photograph of the victims slain by a gunman Friday. A woman read each name aloud as she lit the candles.


3:20 p.m.

A Virginia Beach city employee who survived a deadly shooting at a government building says he was face-to-face with the gunman during the rampage and yelled at him to stop.

Account clerk Terry Inman recalls turning around and seeing DeWayne Craddock standing inside the building with a gun on Friday afternoon. Inman says he shouted at Craddock to stop. Both men worked in the city’s public utilities department.

Craddock turned toward Inman and looked straight at him but didn’t raise the gun or make any other gesture to indicate that he actually saw Inman or anyone else.

After Craddock left the room, Inman and co-worker Ned Carlstrom heard gunshots again. They think that was when their friend and co-worker, Ryan Keith Cox, was killed. Eleven other people were also killed.

Craddock died in the ensuing shootout with police.


12:45 p.m.

The Senate’s top Democrat says a universal background check bill must be brought to the Senate floor for a vote.

Sen. Charles Schumer’s remarks on Sunday came two days after a gunman killed 12 people in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Schumer says the victims were hardworking government employees who were “just snuffed out.”

He says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should bring the bill that would require background checks on all gun sales in the United States to the Senate floor for a vote. The House passed similar legislation in February.

Officials have said the guns used in the shooting were purchased legally.

Still, Schumer says the background check legislation could help prevent future shootings.

Original Post from 06/01/2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A longtime, disgruntled city employee opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach on Friday, killing 12 people before police fatally shot him, authorities said.

Six other people were wounded in the shooting, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life, said Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera.

The shooting happened shortly after 4 p.m. when the veteran employee of the Public Utilities Department entered Building 2 in the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, and “immediately began to indiscriminately fire upon all of the victims,” Cervera said. He did not release the suspect’s name.

Police entered the building and got out as many employees as they could, then exchanged fire with the suspect, who was killed, the chief said.

The shooting sent shock waves through Virginia Beach, the state’s largest city and a popular vacation spot in southeastern Virginia. But the building where the attack took place is in a suburban complex miles away from the high-rise hotels along the beach and the downtown business area.

“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” Mayor Bobby Dyer said.

Megan Banton, an administrative assistant who works in the building where the shooting happened, said she heard gunshots, called 911 and barricaded a door.

“We tried to do everything we could to keep everybody safe,” she said. “We were all just terrified. It felt like it wasn’t real, like we were in a dream. You are just terrified because all you can hear is the gunshots.”

She said she texted her mom, telling her that there was an active shooter in the building and she and others were waiting for police. Banton works in an office of about 20 people that is part of the public works department.

“Thank God my baby is OK,” said Banton’s mother, Dana Showers.

Five of the injured were being treated at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and a sixth was being transferred to the Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sentara Healthcare tweeted.

Paul Swain, 50, was among those who arrived at the Princess Anne Middle School to reunite with loved ones who were in the building during the shooting.

He said he saw his fiancee from across the parking lot, clearly in an agitated state.

“I think she knew some of the people,” he said.