VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — An independent probe into Virginia Beach’s mass shooting failed to offer clear answers as to why a city engineer opened fire in his workplace, the findings released Wednesday showed.
Chicago-based security firm Hillard Heintze concluded its investigation into the May 31 shooting and offered a 262-page report on Wednesday to Virginia Beach’s City Council.
DeWayne Craddock killed 12 people before he was killed in a fierce gunbattle with police. He had submitted his resignation earlier that day.
The firm’s CEO, Arnette Heintze, told council members there were no warning signs that would have helped the city prevent the shooting.
He did say Craddock’s work performance had declined and Craddock had written unsent emails claiming he was unjustly disciplined. The probe also found Craddock had started buying guns and had taken an interest in mass shootings in the years leading up to the shooting.
Relatives of those killed and wounded in the shooting have been grasping for answers to explain the tragedy. An ongoing police investigation also has failed to provide a clear motive for Craddock’s deadly violence.
Craddock, 40, had worked in the city’s public utilities department. He used two semi-automatic handguns, a silencer, and extended ammunition magazines to kill 11 of his co-workers and a contractor who had stopped at the complex to get a permit.
During an update in September, Deputy Police Chief Patrick Gallagher said Craddock submitted his resignation letter the morning of the shooting and then spent the hours before the massacre sending “generic” work-related emails and going on routine project site visits with co-workers. Craddock sent his last email just five minutes before he began shooting.
There were no documented instances of Craddock being threatening in the workplace prior to the massacre, Gallagher had said. Craddock’s resignation letter said he was leaving for “personal reasons.”
He said Craddock had friendly relationships with some co-workers and was described as “quiet, polite, nice guy and a good listener” by many of those who police interviewed.