Virginia Beach gunman’s resignation email hours before mass shooting offers no clues

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jun 03, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The gunman who had resigned before killing 12 people at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center sent a brief two-week notice that didn't seem to foreshadow the massacre that would unfold hours later.

DeWayne Craddock's last day was scheduled to be June 14, according to a copy of the resignation email sent Friday morning.

He cited "personal reasons" for his resignation.

"I want to officially put in my two (2) weeks' notice to vacant (sic) my position of Engineer III with the City of Virginia Beach. It has been a pleasure to serve the City, but due to personal reasons I must relieve my position," Craddock wrote.

In response, a supervisor wrote: "I hope you are able to resolve your personal reasons."

Virginia Beach officials released the email exchange Monday.

Craddock, a 40-year-old certified professional engineer with the Virginia Beach public utilities department, killed a local contractor and 11 city workers nearing the end of his workday, according to officials.

He died after a lengthy shootout with authorities.

City Manager Dave Hansen said Craddock was not forced to resign. Craddock was in "good standing" and had no ongoing discipline issues, Hansen said.

DeWayne Craddock

DeWayne Craddock

Colleague: 'It wasn't his nature'

Joseph Scott, an engineering technician, said he exchanged pleasantries with the quiet, 40-year-old certified professional engineer for the city in the bathroom shortly before the carnage.

"I said, 'How are you doing?' He said he was doing OK," Scott remembered. "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 went home for the day. There was no sign of what was to come.

"I'm sure I'm going to hear all kinds of things about DeWayne, but I liked him," Scott told CNN. "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."

Scott said he worked with Craddock, whom a Virginia government source has called a "disgruntled employee," for several years.

Scott said he doesn't want Craddock "painted as an evil person -- something happened, but it wasn't his nature," adding that he lost many friends Friday.

Craddock walked into the city building Friday afternoon and opened fire, police said.

Four officers who responded to the scene followed the sound of his gunshots and engaged him in a "long gunbattle," police Chief James Cervera said. He suffered injuries during a gunfight with officers and died shortly afterward, Cervera said.

“We will come back strong”

One by one, Karl Smithson laid a flower and said a short prayer at the twelve crosses for the victims of Friday's shooting.

“I know that they're in the Lord's hands and I know they're in Heaven with him, now,” said Smithson.

For 45 years, Smithson has been an employee with Virginia Beach and spent most of that time working in building two where the shooting happened.

“These folks that have lost their lives, these victims, they're very close friends of mine,” he added.

Smithson was one of dozens who stopped by the memorial Monday to grieve and leave flowers, notes and other mementos.

In the three days since the shooting, Smithson says it has been a flood of emotions.

It's very difficult for me to see these young, energetic public servants that have lost their lives.

While some people went to a church down the road for a noon vigil, others are still trying to process what happened.

“This city is so loving and so wonderful and it's just beyond me that it's happened here,” said Ava Plemmons.

Whether at the church, the memorial, or elsewhere in the city, the same feeling, the same hope, and the same promise runs through the mind of the community.

“We want the country to know: We are Virginia Beach strong. This is not going to define us. It's not who we are. It's not what we're about,” Plemmons added.

“Believe me. We will come back strong,” Smithson added.

Depend on and CBS 6 News for complete coverage of this developing story.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.



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