Latest On Virginia Beach Shooting
DON GONYEA, HOST:
A fuller picture is starting to emerge of what happened Friday afternoon when a gunman walked into a government office complex in Virginia Beach and killed 12 people. The gunman also died. This afternoon, Mayor Bobby Dyer spoke about the city's response to the mass shooting.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
BOBBY DYER: We will not be defined by this horror. We will go forward. We are a city of resiliency and resolve. The true character of our city is going to rest with our public, our citizens and our neighbors.
GONYEA: I'm joined by NPR's Bobby Allyn, who was at that briefing in Virginia Beach.
Good afternoon, Bobby.
BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Hey, Don.
GONYEA: In a minute, we're going to hear from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. But what more did officials say about the status of the investigation?
ALLYN: Federal investigators led by the FBI are now taking the lead in the evidence-gathering portion of the investigation. So that means they're conducting interviews with the shooter's former colleagues, his neighbors, people who know him well. They're basically digging into his background. And federal officials say they now have recovered two weapons from the gunman, both .45 caliber handguns. And they say the shooter purchased them legally.
GONYEA: Any new information about the 12 people killed in the office?
DYER: So we knew that all but one of the victims were government employees who were colleagues of the shooter. City officials say they're now helping families plan funerals, memorials, vigils. And at all those events, you know, we're really expected to get kind of a fuller glimpse of the victims' lives.
GONYEA: And what more do we know at this point about the gunman and what may have motivated him?
ALLYN: So all we know is his name is DeWayne Craddock. He was a 15-year employee of the local government here. He worked as an engineer in the city's utility department. Police have again and again strongly deflected questions about him since the rampage. You know, they're really trying to focus on those who died. So 11 of them were Craddock's colleagues.
And police say, you know, in addition to the handguns, Craddock had extended ammunition magazines - so those high-capacity magazines. And he had this device called a silencer. And some witnesses who were in the building at the time of the shooting said they heard, like, 40 and 50 shots fired. But authorities just won't talk about motives yet.
GONYEA: And what do we know about the kind of security the government office has had in place before the shooting?
ALLYN: So authorities say, you know, security in the complex is being reviewed. Some regulars to the municipal building who I just caught up with here repeatedly brought up that point, like this guy I met, Doug Dykeman (ph). He is a general contractor from Virginia Beach, and he goes to the government complexes where the shootings happened, like, a couple times a week. And he told me, you know, when he walks in, he often wonders why there's no security at the door.
DOUG DYKEMAN: It's kind of scary because you can go in any of the offices. You can wander around the whole complex into all the buildings with, you know, nobody supervising or nobody checking you out.
ALLYN: And the chief of police here, when I asked him at the press conference specifically about that - he said, yeah, it's under review, but they will not yet commit to increased security - you know, such as metal detectors. You know, the police chief sort of suggested that at this point that might be a bit of an overcorrection to subject every single public employee to have to go through a metal detector.
GONYEA: All right. That's NPR's Bobby Allyn. Thanks.
ALLYN: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.