Virginia Beach Shooting Suspect Submitted Resignation Hours Before Attack, Police Say

June 3, 2019 Updated: June 3, 2019

The gunman who opened fire on his colleagues inside a Virginia Beach government building, killing 11 public servants and one contractor, and wounding four others, resigned just hours before the shooting on May 31, according to reports.

DeWayne Craddock, 40, a civil engineer who had worked for about 15 years for the City of Virginia Beach, handed in his two-week resignation notice on Friday morning via email just hours before the horrific attack.

Joseph Scott, an engineering technician who worked with Craddock for several years, told CNN he had spoken with the attacker shortly before the mass shooting.

“I said, ‘How are you doing?’ He said he was doing OK,” Scott told the news channel.

“I asked, ‘Any plans for the weekend?’ And he said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Well, have a good day.’ And he said the same to me.”

“I’m sure I’m going to hear all kinds of things about DeWayne, but I liked him,” he added.

Police have not speculated about the motive behind Craddock’s attack, but he was reportedly not facing disciplinary action or termination prior to the shooting, which took place shortly after 4 p.m. local time.

Virginia Beach city manager Dave Hansen said during a press conference on June 2, “To my knowledge, the perpetrator’s performance was satisfactory, he was in good standing within his department, and there were no issues of discipline ongoing.”

Another colleague of Craddock’s told CNN he had told a supervisor he was resigning for “personal reasons,” when asked.

Scott, who lost friends in the attack, added he doesn’t wish for Craddock to be “painted as an evil person,” and suggested that “something happened” as it “wasn’t his nature,” CNN reported.

“I worked with him. He was what I thought was a good person,” Scott recalled.

“When we were together, we would talk about family, friends, things that we were going to do, trips we were going to take and things like that.”

Craddock killed 12 people in the attack—11 of whom were his colleagues—before he was fatally shot by police officers at the scene.

Police chief Jim Cevera said the first urgent call was received at 4:08 p.m, and four police officers discovered Craddock on the second floor of the building at 4:18 p.m. after hearing gunshots.

“At one point, the suspect was firing through the door, through the wall at the officers,” Cevera said. “And then the firing stopped.”

Craddock was armed with two handguns and ammunition, but was wounded in a gun battle with officers, Cevera said.

First aid was administered to the 40-year-old before he was taken into custody, where he died shortly afterward.

The police chief has maintained that he does not believe the attacker was targeting anyone in particular. Police previously said Craddock fired “indiscriminately,” Buzzfeed News reported.

The employees who were killed in the attack had collectively worked for the Virginia Beach government for over 150 years: LaQuita Brown; Ryan Keith Cox; Tara Welch Gallagher; Mary Louise Gayle; Alexander Mikhail Gusev; Joshua O. Hardy; Michelle Langer, known as Missy; Richard H. Nettleton; Katherine A. Nixon; Christopher Kelly Rapp; and Robert Williams.

Craddock’s family members expressed their condolences to the victims of the attack in a handwritten note taped to their door.

“The family of DeWayne Craddock wishes to send our heart felt condolences to the victims. We are grieving the loss of our loved one,” the statement read.

“At this time we wish to focus on the victims and the lives loss [sic] during yesterday’s tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who loss [sic] their lives, and those recovering in the hospital.”