Last Friday a man named DeWayne Craddock entered a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia and began shooting. Police and news reports described the shooter as a disgruntled former employee but not much else was known. A few days later, we know a bit more about what happened the day of the attack. Friday morning Craddock quit his job, citing personal reasons. But the City Manager claims that, had he not quit, he wouldn’t have been fired. His co-workers seem mystified by what he did. From CNN:
Before the massacre, Craddock emailed a resignation letter Friday morning, Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen said.
Craddock was not forced to resign, Hansen said. His “performance was satisfactory” and he was “within good standing in his department.” Craddock had “no issues of discipline ongoing,” the city manager said.
Craddock’s supervisor asked him why he was resigning, a colleague told CNN; Craddock told his boss he was quitting for personal reasons…
Joseph Scott said he worked with the shooter for several years and saw him that day. He said the suspect was brushing his teeth in the bathroom, as he always did, and wished him a good day.
The gunman used to be “what I thought was a good person,” Scott said.
Another colleague, who did not want to be named for privacy reasons, said Craddock was “a nice guy” and “not a monster.”
Contrary to the claim that he had no “issues of discipline” prior to the attack the NY Post notes a source claiming Craddock had recently gotten into a fight with co-workers and was facing disciplinary action:
He recently started showing serious behavioral problems and got into physical “scuffles” with other city workers, a source told the New York Times.
The source told the paper that the troubles had escalated in the week leading up to the mass shooting — and Craddock was involved in what it called “a violent altercation on city grounds.”
If Craddock was becoming violent with co-workers, that would at least make some sense as a motive for his violence, i.e. he was facing discipline at work for violent behavior and that caused him to snap and attack people. But it sounds as if the City Manager is denying he had any outstanding disciplinary issues and other stories I’m seeing paint the police as confused as to a possible motive in the case. Something doesn’t add up here. Yesterday, the NY Times reported this chilling encounter that took place during the attack:
In the middle of the rampage, Terry Inman, who worked with Mr. Craddock in the public utilities office, was trying to find a way out of the second floor of the building when he ran into the gunman, who had his weapon pointed downward.
Mr. Inman said he asked Mr. Craddock: “What are you doing? Stop it, DeWayne!”
Mr. Craddock responded with a blank stare and, after a moment, turned around and walked away without firing, Mr. Inman said. Deeply shaken by the encounter, Mr. Inman then sought safety on an upper floor.
Maybe with a few more days of investigation, we’ll have a clearer picture of what motivated Craddock to murder his co-workers.
Update: Ryan Keith Cox, who was killed in the attack, is being praised as a hero. From WKTR 3:
Christi Dewar believes she might not still be here had it not been for the actions of her coworker Ryan Keith Cox…
“I credit Keith to the fact that I’m still here that I can still hug my son and hug my baby granddaughter,” Dewar said in an interview on Sunday…
“We started running towards the south staircase,” she said. “Somebody screamed, ‘It’s too late run the other way!'”
The group of seven turned around and that’s where they met Cox. He calmly directed them into a nearby office, but didn’t join them.
“I said, ‘Keith, come on!’ He said, ‘I need to check on some other people.’ He didn’t come in with us,” she said.