Update on Municipal Center Shooting: Investigation and Status of Building 2

Thursday, June 20, 2019

​Over the past 20 days, thousands of investigative hours (FBI and VBPD) have been dedicated to this case, which is being co-managed by Special Agent in Charge Martin Culbreth (FBI Norfolk Office) and Captain Theresa Orr (VBPD).  A task force consisting of at least four homicide detectives and one lieutenant are assigned full-time to the investigation. One VBPD captain and one Detective Bureau sergeant have been assigned to a separate investigation of the officer-involved shooting of the suspect. The investigations are parallel and ongoing.

More than 300 interviews have been conducted and there are more to be completed. An enormous amount of evidence is being reviewed and prioritized. This includes thousands of email messages along with information captured through more than 20 search warrants executed for cell phone and computer data, personnel files, medical records and financial records. The investigative folder contains over 69 gigabytes of text-based data that must be organized, analyzed and linked. In addition to this file, which expands every day, there is body-worn camera footage that must be reviewed. Note the four officers who engaged the suspect were not wearing cameras; other responding officers were wearing cameras, including those who searched the building and helped people exit.

The VBPD's efforts to identify a motive for this crime and/or determine any pre-indicators on the part of the suspect prior to the shooting are ongoing. To date, no arrests have been made and no evidence reviewed thus far implicates others in any criminal involvement. However, there is a substantial amount of evidence yet to be reviewed.

The VBPD is coordinating efforts with the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, Medical Examiner's Office and the FBI to ensure a thorough and complete investigation. While the FBI has indicated it might take as long as 12 months to complete their forensic overview, they will have a preliminary report within a much shorter, although undetermined, timeframe. The Crime Scene Reconstruction Report will be cross-referenced with the interview results to provide as complete a reconstruction of events as possible. There is no timeframe for completing this investigation as the persons to be interviewed and additional evidence to evaluate are expanding daily. Investigations of other mass shootings of similar scope and complexity have taken 6 to 10 months to complete.

Progress on Remediating Building 2, Relocating Staff and Services
The remediation process is approximately 85% done and should be finished next week. Police and Public Works personnel began collecting staff members' personal items and returning these items to them. As of June 19:

  • 198 staff members have completed the online forms for identifying personal items to be removed, and personnel with Police/Public Works have removed items for 180 of these individuals.
  • Crews began working on installing an eight-foot-high security fence to reduce the need for additional manpower/security requirements. Until the fence is completed, Public Works will maintain a perimeter barricade of bicycle racks around the sidewalk surrounding Building 2.We estimate the fence and gate installation will be completed before July 4, and privacy slats will be installed by mid-July at an estimated total cost of $64,000.

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