DeWayne Craddock has been identified as the gunman who opened fire in a Virginia Beach municipal center in an attack that has left at least 11 dead, and now many are scouring media for pictures of the gunman and some kind of insight into the motives behind the attack.
The attack took place on Friday at roughly 4:30 p.m. ET, when police said the longtime city employee opened fire in the public works building. Craddock was described as a disgruntled employee who had recently been fired.
As the Virginian-Pilot reported, police descended on the building and one officer was shot during the shootout, but saved by a bulletproof vest. Craddock was killed during the shootout, but it was not yet clear if he was shot by police officers or took his own life.
In a news conference in the evening hours on Friday, Mayor Bobby Dyer put the year’s worst mass shooting into context.
“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” Dyer told reporters during the news conference. “The people involved are our friends, co-workers, neighbors and colleagues.”
There had been early indications that it was a targeted attack. Police scanners had initially identified DeWayne Craddock as the shooter, which was later confirmed by the Wall Street Journal.
In the wake of the attack, many turned to both traditional and social media in an attempt to find clues for the mass shooting. It was not immediately clear if DeWayne Craddock had a Facebook page or other social media, but the longtime employee had been highlighted for his work with the city in the past.
Last July, the city of Virginia Beach released an announcement about utility work that would affect traffic on multiple roads, and listed DeWayne Craddock as the contact for anyone with questions.
#BREAKING: The Wall Street Journal reports the suspect in today's shooting in Virginia Beach that left 11 dead has been identified as DeWayne Craddock.— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) June 1, 2019
Police will hold a presser at 9:30 p.m. with updates. https://t.co/04meAeT9JD
Other articles seemed to confirm that DeWayne Craddock had a position of authority within the public works department. A 2015 article from the Lake Gaston Gazette, noted that Craddock, the project manager for the city, led a tour for board members of the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce.
There also appeared to be few publicly available pictures of DeWayne Craddock, but one official city headshot showed a 40-year-old black man.
Dewayne Craddock, a 40-year-old longtime public works project manager in Virginia Beach, has been identified as the suspect killed after fatally shooting 11 people and wounding 6 others in an office building at the city's Municipal Center: https://t.co/S3wUvaOWkU pic.twitter.com/3ACuSajIjS— Tom Cleary (@tomwcleary) June 1, 2019
WSJ: "DeWayne Craddock, 40 years old, had made multiple firearm purchases in recent weeks, officials said." WSJ reporting he is the shooter.— Steve Lookner (@lookner) June 1, 2019
Some early reports indicated that the shooting may have been planned ahead. The Wall Street Journal reported that DeWayne Craddock had made multiple firearm purchases in recent weeks, though it was not yet clear if any of these were guns used in Friday’s mass shooting.