11 killed, 6 injured in Virginia Beach shooting

A man described as a disgruntled city employee walked into a municipal building in Virginia Beach and began firing indiscriminately, leaving 11 people dead and six people injured. From the Virginia-Pilot:

“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” Mayor Bobby Dwyer said as he opened up the news conference. “The people involved are our friends, coworkers, neighbors and colleagues.”…

The gunfire began shortly after 4 p.m., just as workers were wrapping up their day and preparing to leave for the weekend. The Operations building where it occurred is next to City Hall and houses the planning, public utilities, public works departments, among others.

Megan Banton, an administrative assistant in the public utilities office where the man worked, said her supervisor heard a noise, then shouted for everyone to get down.

The supervisor then pulled Banton and others into her office, and shoved a desk against the door, while Banton called 911.

The Associated Press has some additional reaction from Banton:

“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 said she texted her mom, telling her that there was an active shooter in the building and she and others were waiting for police. Banton works in an office of about 20 people that is part of the public works department.

“Thank God my baby is OK,” Banton’s mother, Dana Showers, said.

According to Police Chief Jim Cervera who gave a press conference a short while ago, police arrived at the scene, entered the building and exchanged fire with the shooter. A Va. Beach police officer was shot but survived thanks to his bullet-proof vest. The shooter was killed by police. Police have not released the shooter’s name or any details about what motivated the attack, they’ve only said that the shooter was a “longtime employee.” Here’s the press conference statement by the police chief:

Finally, this local news clip includes an interview with a witness who is obviously terrified: