At least 11 people were killed when a gunman identified as a longtime city employee opened fire at a municipal center on Friday afternoon, according to NBC News.
The gunman was able to injure six other people in addition to the fatalities before police shot and killed him at the scene of the crime. One of the injured victims was a police officer, who was “saved by his vest” according to Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera.
The violence broke out around 4 p.m. local time in the city building where departments such as public works, public utilities, communications, and others are located. The suspect was reportedly a public utilities employee
Police have not determined a motive for the attack, which Cervera described as “indiscriminate.” The suspect has not been identified.
CNN reported that a semi-automatic pistol and a rifle, believed to have been legally purchased, were found at the scene.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statement:
“This is a horrific day for the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are devastated by the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach. I am in Virginia Beach with law enforcement authorities and Mayor Dyer, where I am monitoring the situation and offer the state’s full support.
My deepest condolences and prayers go to the families of those who left home this morning, and will not return tonight, as well as those who have been injured in this tragedy.
This is unspeakable, senseless violence. I commend local and state law enforcement, first responders, medical teams, and all others who acted swiftly to respond to this situation. My thoughts continue to be with the victims and their families.”
This is a breaking news story that will be updated.