Update on Municipal Center Shooting: Statement from City Manager Dave Hansen

Thursday, June 13, 2019

​VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (June 13, 2019) — In the aftermath of the most horrific tragedy in Virginia Beach, we understand the intense interest in finding out why one of our own conducted this deadly rampage. No one wants answers more than we do. We, like the families, coworkers and community, want to understand the circumstances that played into this tragedy as best we can. While there is no justification for the violence that occurred here on May 31, the Police are looking into every lead and examining every avenue in search of the facts.

The speed with which we responded to the shooting was coupled with a demonstrated commitment to transparency. Within 16 hours of the incident, we shared publicly the identities of the victims and the suspect. Within 48 hours, the Virginia Beach Police Department provided the timeline of events and engaged the local FBI field office which offered resources for the processing of the scene. Within 72 hours, we released the resignation email the shooter had sent in which he provided his two-week notice.

Update as of June 13, 0800
The police identified 240 people to be interviewed who were witnesses, present in the building and/or had significant information. The number of people to be interviewed has continued to grow as detectives reassemble what happened.  

On Monday, June 10 the FBI released the building to the Virginia Beach Police Department who immediately began working in the building for additional forensic evidence.

On Wednesday, June 12, the Police released the building back to the City for cleanup and remediation, including retrieving personal items to return to their owners—that process is under way. We are also securing paper and electronic files that may have relevance to this ongoing investigation.

In the week since the last briefing, there have been rumors, inuendo, conflicting theories and speculation. There have been suggestions that one of the names redacted from the shooter's resignation email was Kate Nixon. We have confirmed she was not an addressee on the email as she was not a supervisor in the shooter's chain of command.

Additionally, the Police have investigated reports of the shooter being confrontational, argumentative and engaging in fights. The investigation has not uncovered evidence corroborating these allegations.

It is our unwavering commitment to conduct a complete, thorough, professional and responsible investigation. Once we have the entire criminal investigation completed (both FBI and Police) and reviewed by the Commonwealth's Attorney, we can determine whether there are still unanswered questions that merit an independent investigation.

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