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Police still don’t know why a gunman killed 12 people in Virginia Beach in 2019, a new report says

After nearly two years, police have now completed their investigation into a shooting in Virginia Beach that left 12 people dead.

However, what is perhaps the most significant question remains unanswered: The suspect’s motive.

The Virginia Beach Police Department’s 47-page report, based on digital evidence, records from the day of the shooting, and interviews with more than 500 people who knew the gunman, is ultimately inconclusive. The gunman “left no note nor any other account that would explain his actions,” police wrote.

Dewayne Craddock, a veteran city engineer, had resigned hours before killing 12 people and injuring five others in a Virginia Beach municipal building in May 2019, police said. He died in a shootout with police.

Early reports referred to Craddock as a “disgruntled employee.” But the report shows he was mostly introverted around his colleagues and was never disciplined on the job. One of his colleagues told CNN in 2019 that Craddock told his supervisor he was resigning for “personal reasons.”

Craddock was a “very private person” who shared little information about himself or his feelings with the people who knew him, Virginia Beach police wrote in the report. He had no criminal history or diagnoses of mental illness before the shooting, and he hadn’t published writings indicative of the violence he’d later commit, police wrote.

The information they were able to gather about him — on his service with the Army National Guard, his legal purchase of firearms, his divorce two years before the shooting and one unsatisfactory job report — wasn’t enough to draw conclusions about his motive for the 2019 shooting, police wrote.

“Despite exhaustive investigative work and in spite of unsubstantiated rumors and accusations, it appears we may never know why he committed this heinous act,” police said in the report.

The shooting lasted 44 minutes, police wrote in the investigation. Craddock first shot a person in the parking lot before moving into government offices in Virginia Beach. He shot people on three floors of the building. One of the people who survived the shooting — Craddock’s coworker — said he first believed the shooting was a drill.

Eleven longtime city workers, including the gunman’s boss, and one contractor were killed in the shooting before police found the gunman on the building’s second floor. The officers exchanged gunfire with Craddock, killing him.

It was the second-deadliest mass shooting of 2019, after the shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in which 23 people were killed. The killings happened within a bit over one month of each other (and another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, occurred just hours after the El Paso shooting).

The suspect in the El Paso shooting, though, is thought to have written documents with racist, anti-immigrant views and was indicted on more than 90 federal charges that included hate crimes.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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