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DeWayne Craddock (October 15th, 1978 – May 31st, 2019) was an American mass shooter responsible for the Virginia Beach shooting on May 31st, 2019. Craddock killed 12 people and wounded 5 others at a municipal building in Virginia Beach before he was shot and killed by responding police officers.

Background

Craddock worked as an engineer in the city's public utilities department and had a security pass to enter employee work spaces within the building. In the days prior to the shooting, he was involved in physical scuffles with fellow city employees and threatened with disciplinary action. A few hours before the shooting, he resigned from his position in an email he sent to city management. The city manager said that Craddock resigned "within good standing in his department" and that he "had no issues of discipline ongoing." He had no prior criminal violations with the exception of minor traffic violations.

Within the span of at least the last three years, Craddock began legally acquiring firearms. Two .45 ACP pistols were used in the shooting and two more weapons were found at Craddock's residence, one of which was another pistol of the .45 ACP caliber. The fourth weapon is still being checked by authorities.

Craddock graduated in 1996 from Denbigh High School in Newport News. Between 1996 and 2002, he served in the Virginia Army National Guard in Norfolk as a cannon crew member with the First Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment. At the time of his discharge he held the rank of Specialist (E-4) and had not been deployed for combat service. In 2002, he graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in civil engineering. Prior to joining the City of Viriginia Beach, he worked as a project engineer for MSA, P.C., a consulting firm.

The shooting

Craddock fatally shot a person in a car in the parking lot of Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center before entering the building and shooting people on all three floors. The building housed the city's public works, utilities, and planning departments in an open-government facility with no additional security to enter but security passes required for accessing employee areas and conference rooms. He fired indiscriminately and there was no immediate indication that he had targeted anyone in particular. He was fatally shot during a prolonged gunfight with law enforcement personnel who responded to the scene.

Some members of the public and employees were initially unaware of the shooter, and many were alerted by phone calls, text messages, or word of mouth to shelter in place or evacuate the location. The confusion was in part due to renovations that were underway at the time leading many to believe the shots were a nail gun or another tool. An active shooter situation at the municipal center was confirmed by the city manager around 4:40 p.m.

The FBI, the ATF, and the Department of Homeland Security responded to assist local and state police. Two semi-automatic pistols, a silencer, and multiple extended magazines were found at the scene. Craddock had purchased them legally within the last three years.

Eyewitnesses said that Craddock seemed completely normal in the hours leading up to the shooting. One eyewitness said that they saw himr brushing his teeth in the bathroom as he always did and did not seem agitated, while another eyewitness said that he wished him a "good day" mere moments before the shooting.

Motive

Craddock's motive for committing the shooting is currently not known and is still being investigated. A Virginia government source called a "disgruntled employee", but it is unknown why he was disgruntled. Co-workers of Craddock also said that he didn't have a wife nor had friends come over to his house.

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