Virginia Beach mass shooting commission member: Found laptop could lead to motive

Fowler laptop
Delegate Kelly Fowler claims this laptop belong to gunman in the 2019 Virginia Beach mass shooting.
Posted at 1:12 PM, Jan 04, 2023

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A state delegate recently said she's in possession of a laptop that supposedly belonged to the Virginia Beach city employee who opened fire, killing 12 people at the city's municipal center in 2019. On Tuesday, a Virginia Beach police spokesperson responded to those claims, requesting lawmakers turn that laptop over for a complete investigation.

In a phone conversation, a member who sits on the Virginia Beach Mass Shooting Commission, which is conducting its own investigation, says the laptop is crucial, and it may lead to a motive in the shooting.

"You'll get his emails or who he was sending them to," said commission member David Cariens. "That's very important evidence to our investigation. We need to know who he was in contact with. We need to know what type of emails he was sending and what he was saying."

Cariens said he has several questions after Delegate Kelly Fowler claimed she became in possession of the laptop that belonged to DeWayne Craddock.

"I find it puzzling that three-and-half years later this is surfacing," he said. "The question is how thorough was the Virginia Beach police search or the FBI's search if the laptop was not there when they searched it? Where was it and who had taken it and who put it back?"

The statement from Virginia Beach police said "neither the FBI nor the VBPD located or seized a personal laptop computer belonging to the shooter. Neither agency is aware of the existence of a personal laptop or desktop computer belonging to the shooter."

But Cariens said he has no reason to doubt Delegate Fowler.

"I really have no evidence one way or the other," he said. "I believe what [Delegate Fowler] has to say, that this was the gunman's laptop."

Delegate Fowler said Beth Mann, a former city employee, gave her the laptop, and Fowler said she's looked through it.

"I did see a couple of gun pictures and some other pictures," Fowler said in a previous interview.

After several investigations, no clear motive has been determined in the case, but the victim's families claimed a hostile work environment played a role. Virginia Beach police did search digital evidence from Craddock's hard drives and his city computer.



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