Law enforcement in Virginia Beach has been frantically searching for stories for why 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock shot and killed 12 people on Friday. Initial reporting claimed he was a disgruntled city employee but a new report indicated that theory has been debunked, leaving even more questions.
Craddock was reportedly not fired from his job after all. Instead, he resigned just hours before the shooting and PBS reported that his letter of resignation gave no indication that he was anger or upset. City Manager Dave Hansen also said Craddock was an employee “in good standing” and showed “satisfactory” job performance. It was not immediately clear why he resigned.
However, the New York Times reported there were acts of violence from Craddock. He allegedly got into physical “scuffles” with other city workers, just a week before, which resulted in “a violent altercation on city grounds.”
It’s not clear what the altercations were about.
That said, there were at least three witnesses who said Craddock saw and locked eyes with them but opted against shooting them. Therefore, the shooting may not be as random as officials have said while police continue to look for a clear motive.
The Washington Post reported that there was one person with whom Craddock “casual acquaintances” who was not shot. Craddock did shoot and kill two of his supervisors, one fatally.
Craddock was described as a longtime city worker employed as an engineer with the Department of Public Utilities at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center for about 15 years. “Victims were found on three floors of Building 2 and one victim was found shot in a car outside,” CBS News reported. Building 2 is where the Department of Public Utilities is located.
The Virginia Beach city manager told the New York Times that Craddock was technically still employed when he started shooting and that he “had a security pass like all employees had and he was authorized to enter the building.”
One of the victims, Ryan Keith Cox, was being praised as a hero and guardian angel.
Cox was an account clerk who worked in the public utilities department for over 12 years. Christi Dewar, a survivor of the shooting says she may not be alive if it wasn’t for Cox. “If it wasn’t for him, there would have been several more people that had perished,” Cox said.
Our condolences go out to everyone affected by this shooting.