Virginia Governor Ralph Northam tonight issued the following statement on today's deadly violence in Virginia Beach: “This is a horrific day for the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are devastated by the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach. I am in Virginia Beach with law enforcement authorities and Mayor Dyer, where I am monitoring the situation and offer the state’s full support. My deepest condolences and prayers go to the families of those who left home this morning, and will not return tonight, as well as those who have been injured in this tragedy. This is unspeakable, senseless violence. I commend local and state law enforcement, first responders, medical teams and all others who acted swiftly to respond to this situation. My thoughts continue to be with the victims and their families.”
A lone gunman entered the Operations Building at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center today around 4 p.m., killing 12 victims and wounding four others as he covered three floors, shooting people apparently at random. He was reportedly a long-time city employee, armed with a rifle and at least one a pistol with a silencer on its barrel and capable of discharging large amounts of ammunition.
He was dispatched by Virginia Beach police officers who entered the building pursuing him. One officer was injured in the exchange of gunfire, but survived because he was wearing a bulletproof vest, as do many, if not most, officers.
The assailant was a city of Virginia Beach employee, who may have been recently let go. Most of the victims are thought to be city employees, although there could have been some non-city employees on the floors.
Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said the city was "devastated" by the tragedy.
This is the greatest loss of life at one time in the city's history.