Virginia Beach: 11 dead in shooting at government building

A longtime public utility employee in Virginia Beach opened fire on co-workers on Friday afternoon, killing 11 people and wounding several others inside a public works building before he was fatally shot by police, authorities said.

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said that the gunman “fired indiscriminately” upon all the victims after he entered the municipal building shortly after 4 p.m. He said an officer was among the six wounded. who was saved by his bulletproof vest.

Cervera said, several law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI were working the scene on Friday night due to its “size, scope, intensity,”

The police chief said the suspect was a long-time public utility employee and described him as disgruntled.

“We have more questions than we really have answers,” he said.

Conditions of the surviving victims were not immediately available; 

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

Virginia governor Ralph Northam described the incident as a tragic day for the city and the state.

“My heart breaks for the victims of this devastating shooting, their families, and all who loved them,” he said on Twitter. “I am on my way to Virginia Beach now and will be there within the hour.”

He further said, “This is a horrific day for the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are devastated by the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach. I am in Virginia Beach with law enforcement authorities and Mayor Dyer, where I am monitoring the situation and offer the state’s full support.”

“My deepest condolences and prayers go to the families of those who left home this morning, and will not return tonight, as well as those who have been injured in this tragedy,” Northam added.

“This is unspeakable, senseless violence. I commend local and state law enforcement, first responders, medical teams, and all others who acted swiftly to respond to this situation. My thoughts continue to be with the victims and their families,” he said 

A White House spokesman said President Donald Trump had been briefed about the shooting.