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US Mass Shooting: 11 dead as gunman opens fire at Virginia beach

Started by 4niso, Jun 01, 2019, 09:20 am

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Eleven people were shot dead, and six injured, as a gunman entered a public building in Virginia Beach and opened fire indiscriminately in America's latest mass shooting.

The gunman, DeWayne Craddock, who also died, was a local utilities engineer formerly employed by the city of Virginia Beach, and was described by police as a "disgruntled employee".

"This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach," said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer. "The people involved are our friends, co-workers, neighbours and colleagues."

Craddock carried out the mass shooting in a building that houses the city's public works and utilities offices, around 4pm local time, as employees were still at their desks.

He stalked through several floors as he opened fire indiscriminately at former colleagues, using a 45 caliber handgun with extended magazines and a sound suppressor, according to police.

Megan Banton, an administrative assistant who was in the building, described how workers hid on the floor and barricaded an office door with a desk.

She said: "We kept hearing gunfire. We were trying to keep as quiet as possible. I have an 11-month old baby at home and all I could think about was him, and trying to make it home to him."

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera told reporters at a press conference that officers returned fire at Craddock. One officer was shot but was "saved" by his protective vest, Cervera said.

Police Chief Cervera said it was a "longterm gun battle" and confirmed there were victims on all three floors of the building. He said they were still in the process of identifying victims.

While Craddock was identified as the gunman by various US media, Police Chief Cervera declined to publicly release a name himself because his family is yet to be notified.

The shooting has sent a shockwave through Virginia Beach, a city of 500,000 people on the Atlantic coast, in the state of Virginia, about 200 miles southeast of Washington DC.

Five patients were taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, where two died. Two others remained in critical condition and one in fair condition, a spokesperson for Sentara Healthcare said.

The White House said President Trump had been briefed on the shooting, while the state governor, Ralph Northam, said his team was "actively monitoring the situation in Virginia Beach".

The mass shooting - defined as four or more people killed - on Friday was the 150th of the year in the US. The last comparable shooting was in November, when 12 people were killed in Los Angeles.