Virginia beach shooting: 12 dead and six wounded after gunman opens fire in government building, police say

Shooting suspect, who was a current city employee, is also dead

Lily Puckett
New York
Friday 31 May 2019 23:41 BST
Police rush people out of building following shooting at Virginia Beach

Twelve people have been killed and six others wounded after a “disgruntled” employee opened fire at a municipal centre in Virginia Beach, the city’s police chief has said.

Police said the suspect, a long-term and current employee at Virginia Beach Municipal Centre fired “indiscriminately” and was killed when officers responded to the incident.

Virginia Beach police chief James Cervera told reporters an officer was among the six wounded, adding that he was ”basically saved by his bulletproof vest”.

“There’s no way to describe an incident such as this,” said Mr Cervera.

At the same conference, Virginia Beach mayor Robert Dyer said: “This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach.”

The shooting happened at the Virginia Beach Municipal Centre, a campus of city offices and agencies, which includes the police department. The shooting happened in Building Number 2, which includes offices for planning and public works.

“This day will not define Virginia Beach,” said Virginia Beach councilman Aaron Rouse at the press conference. “We will come together. We show the strength of our city.”

Officials told WAVY that one patient was taken to Sentara Pincess Anne hospital. They were brought by a helicopter reserved for severe injures. Five other patients were taken to Virginia Beach General, seemingly with lesser injuries.

“This is a tragic day for Virginia Beach and our entire Commonwealth,” wrote Virginia governor Ralph Northam on Twitter. “My heart breaks for the victims of this devastating shooting, their families, and all who loved them. I am on my way to Virginia Beach now and will be there within the hour.”

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