11 people killed in Virginia Beach shooting; suspect dead
Six other people were wounded in the shooting, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life, said Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera. The city's visibly shaken mayor, Bobby Dyer, called it "the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach."
The shooting happened shortly after 4 p.m. when the veteran employee of the Public Utilities Department entered a building in the city's Municipal Center, and "immediately began to indiscriminately fire upon all of the victims," Cervera said. He did not release the suspect's name.
Police entered the building and got out as many employees as they could, then exchanged fire with the suspect, who was killed, the chief said.
The shooting sent shock waves through Virginia Beach, the state's largest city and a popular vacation spot in southeastern Virginia. The building where the attack took place is in a suburban complex miles away from the high-rise hotels along the beach and the downtown business area.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement he was devastated by the "unspeakable, senseless violence," and is offering the state's full support to survivors and relatives of the victims. The White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed and was monitoring the situation.
Megan Banton, an administrative assistant who works in the building where the shooting happened, said she heard gunshots, called 911 and barricaded herself and about 20 colleagues inside an office, pushing a desk against a door.
"We tried to do everything we could to keep everybody safe," she said. "We were all just terrified. It felt like it wasn't real, like we were in a dream. You are just terrified because all you can hear is the gunshots."
She texted her mom, telling her that there was an active shooter in the building and she and others were waiting for police.
"Thank God my baby is OK," Banton's mother, Dana Showers, said.
Five of the injured were being treated at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and a sixth was being transferred to the Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Sentara Healthcare tweeted.
At a nearby middle school, friends and relatives were reuniting with loved ones who were in the building when the shooting happened. They included Paul Swain, 50, who said he saw his fiancee from across the parking lot, clearly in an agitated state.
"I think she knew some of the people," he said.
Outside the school, Cheryl Benn, 65, waited while her husband, David, a traffic engineer with the city who was in the building where the shooting happened, gave a written statement to detectives.
She said her husband initially called her from a barricaded room and said it sounded as if someone had been working with a nail gun. Then he saw the bodies.
"This is unbelievable for Virginia Beach," Cheryl Benn said. "Nothing like this happens in Virginia Beach. By and large, it's a pretty calm and peaceful place to live."
Associated Press writers Regina Garcia Cano in Washington, D.C.; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; and Tom Foreman Jr. in Charlotte, North Carolina, contributed to this report.
(All times local):
Police say 11 people have been killed and six others injured in a mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach.
Police Chief James Cervera said Friday that a shooter opened fire and shot "indiscriminately" at workers inside an operations building in the Virginia Beach Municipal Building Friday afternoon.
Cervera said police returned fire, killing the suspect. He said the suspect was a longtime employee of the city's Public Works Department. One of the people shot is a police officer.
Hospital officials say six people have been wounded in a shooting at a municipal center in Virginia Beach.
Sentara Healthcare said on its Twitter account that five people were taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and a sixth patient was taken to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital after the shooting just after 4 p.m. Friday. The company said the sixth patient was being transferred to the Level 1 Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Virginia Beach police said a suspect was taken into custody after the shooting. They said they believe there was only one shooter.
Police in Virginia Beach say a shooting at a municipal center has left multiple people wounded. They say a suspect has been taken into custody after Friday afternoon's shooting and they believe there was only one shooter.
There was no immediate word on the extent of injuries.