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JUST IN: Multiple injured, suspect in custody after shooting at Virginia Beach Municipal Center


3:43 PM - May 31, 2019

They were 11 people who were just doing their jobs, and a 12th man who was at the Virginia Beach municipal center to get a permit.

By the end of the afternoon, they were all deceased, the victims in the latest mass shooting tragedy to afflict the United States. The mass shooting broke out at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, building 2, near the courthouse, on May 31, 2019. All but one of those killed were city workers. The final person killed was a contractor seeking a permit.

On the morning of June 1, police released the victims’ names with photos and biographies. (You can read our previous article rounding up the heroism of victims and survivors in past mass shootings here.)


CNN Newsroom



Officials identify 12 victims of Virginia Beach shooting, who were killed after a gunman opened fire at a municipal building.


All but one of the victims were employees of the city, according to city manager Dave Hansen.


6:35 AM - Jun 1, 2019

Here are the deceased victims’ names. They are of multiple ages, ethnic backgrounds, and genders. Their time of service ranged from a couple months to 41 years.

“I have worked with most of them for many years,” said Dave Hansen, Virginia Beach City Manager. “We want you to know who they were so in the weeks to come you will learn what they meant to all of us, to their friends, to their families, and to their co-workers. They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”

virginia beach victims

City of Virginia BeachThese are some of the victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting, from left, clockwise: Mary Louise Gayle, Ryan Keith Cox, Katherine A. Nixon, and Robert Williams.

Laquita C. Brown worked in public works for 4.5 years, as a right of way agent. She was from Chesapeake.

Tara Welch Gallagher worked in public works for 6 years, and was an engineer from Virginia Beach.

Mary Louise Gayle had 24 years in public works as a right-of-way agent and was from Virginia Beach.

Alexander Mikhail Gusev spent 9 years in public works as a right of way agent and was from Virginia Beach.

Katherine A. Nixon, spent 10 years in public utilities as an engineer and was from Virginia Beach.

Richard H. Nettleton spent 28 years in public utilities as an engineer and was from Norfolk. He also served in an engineer brigade in Germany.

Christopher Kelly Rapp had 11 months in the job as an engineer in public works and was from Powhatan.

Ryan Keith Cox spent 12.5 years in public utilities as an account clerk and was from Virginia Beach.

Joshua A. Hardy worked in public utilities for 4.5 years as an engineering technician and was from Virginia Beach.

Michelle Missy Langer worked in public utilities for 12 years as an administrative assistant and was from Virginia Beach.

Robert Bobby Williams worked in public utilities for 41 years as a special projects coordinator and was from Chesapeake.


Herbert Bert Snelling was a contractor from Virginia Beach. He was there to try to fill a permit.

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

Police Chief James A. Cervera confirmed the casualty count and called it a “devastating incident that…is going to change the lives of a number of families from our city.” A police officer was shot but was “saved by his vest,” said the chief. At one point, the suspect was shooting through a door on the second floor as officers arrived. “We do have shots coming through that door,” an officer said on the scanner early on.


CBS News





Virginia Beach Chief James Cervera provides details on shooting: “I want you to know that during this gun battle basically, the officer stopped this individual from committing more carnage in that building”



8:16 PM - May 31, 2019

The scanner traffic chronicled a chilling scene as officers found people hiding, referred to casualties, and tried to stop the suspect. You can listen to the live scanner reports later in this article. The police chief said he had a .45 caliber gun with extended magazines and engaged in a “gun battle” with officers. Police initially said there were 11 deceased victims but another person then died.

The suspect is dead. He was a current public utilities worker, said the chief.

Shortly after 4 p.m., the suspect, a long-time city employee, entered the municipal center and began to “indiscriminately fire on all the victims,” the chief said in the first news conference on the situation. The motive is not yet clear. Although earlier reports said the suspect had been fired, the chief said he was a “current employee” and added that the shooting occurred over multiple floors. “I have a gunshot victim outside of building 1. He was shot a couple of times,” an officer said on the scanner. “We’ve got several citizens we’re trying to keep safe at this moment.”

But the center of it all was Building 2. Officers responded to that building. They secured as many of the victims as they could. “The suspect did shoot a police officer. Officers returned fire. Suspect is deceased. The scene is secure,” said the chief.


However, it was clear immediately that there was a very dangerous situation at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. “The basement has been cleared,” authorities said around 5:23 p.m. on the scanner, indicating they were still going from room-to-room inside the municipal building at that time. They later declared the building stabilized.

The first police public release on the mass shooting was concise but something no city wants to hear: “ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION-municipal center, building 2. Multiple injuries. At this time it is believed that only 1 shooter, and they have been taken into custody. More to follow,” Virginia Beach police reported on Twitter on May 31, 2019.