This past Friday, the lives of 12 people were tragically ended as the result of the actions of DeWayne Craddock. Craddock was reportedly a disgruntled employee who was recently fired from the Public Works Department at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. Craddock was 40-years-old and a certified engineer who had worked for the department for over 15 years prior to Friday’s tragic shooting. Now, the former colleagues and neighbors of the shooter recall their interactions with him in the days leading up to the tragedy, according to CNN.
Joseph Scott, an engineering technician at the Public Works Department, was one of the employees who thought they knew Craddock reasonably well. That is, up until he became the shooter behind one of the worst workplace massacres this nation has seen. Scott recalled how Craddock took the time to brush his teeth in a work bathroom, just as he always did, prior to opening fire on the department. The pair later exchanged some casual small talk that was about as mundane as it could be.
Scott remembers that just before he headed home for the day, he wished Craddock a good day and Craddock wished the same to him in return. At that point, Scott had absolutely no indication whatsoever of what was to come later that day.
VA Beach according to @GunDeaths, marks the 150th US mass shooting in 2019.
May 31st was the 151st day of 2019.
— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) June 2, 2019
“I said, ‘How are you doing?’ He said he was doing OK. 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.”
Scott knows that as the Virginia Beach community begins to pick up the pieces and mourn the lives prematurely lost on Friday, there will be plenty of theories regarding Craddock as a person and his motives for the shooting. Yet, Scott can’t help but consider the opinion he had personally developed of Craddock during the years he spent working with him. He didn’t seem to be violent or to exude the signs of a crazed killer.
“I’m sure I’m going to hear all kinds of things about DeWayne, but I liked him. I worked with him. He was what I thought was a good person. 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.”
During the time of the shooting, law enforcement quickly arrived at the scene and were able to take down Craddock. He died from his injuries a short time later.