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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Gunman Kills 12 in Shooting in Virginia Beach Municipal Center; Officials Give Update On Mass Shooting In Virginia Beach. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired June 1, 2019 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
[08:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: We are so grateful to have you with us here. 8 o'clock is the time. I'm Christi Paul in Atlanta. Victor Blackwell is live for us right now in Virginia Beach, Virginia as we wait for this press conference to learn more about the mass shooting there yesterday - late yesterday. Victor, good morning.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Good morning to you, Christi. Yes, we are waiting to get more on the breaking news. At least 12 people are dead. Four others are injured after this gunman started shooting at his coworkers at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.
Again, any moment now we're expecting a press conference to begin, so this is a very fluid what is happening right now, of course take that - bring that to you rather live when it happens.
But here's what we know right now. Sources say that this suspect was a disgruntled employee. He was killed in a shootout with police. Now they say that a .45-caliber pistol that was found near the shooter along with a suppressor and several empty higher capacity magazines.
This all happened late yesterday afternoon. Police say, the suspect started shooting on all three floors of that building and officials say they found victims on all three floors of this building behind me.
Let's go now to the courthouse where this news conference will happen, Brian Todd is there. He's been following this story all night. What are you learning?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Victor, we're anticipating this news conference any moment now, and we're eagerly anticipating it because we hope that they will give new information about how the shooting unfolded, some of the details about what happened inside the building in this complex and also about possible motive, what might have prompted this man to come into the complex and start shooting.
What we can tell you is, from all indications we've gotten so far from police, FBI and other officials, the gunman came into that building prepared to inflict carnage and prepared seemingly to do battle with police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D), VIRGINIA: My deepest condolences and prayers go to the families of those who left home this morning and will not return tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Tragedy in Virginia Beach Friday evening, a mass shooting at the Virginia Municipal Building; the deadliest mass shooting in America since November of 2018 when 12 people were killed at the Borderline country music bar in California.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORTHAM: Today is Virginia Beach's darkest hour.
CHIEF JAMES CERVERA, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE: I have a number of officers right now who are processing through what best could be described as a war zone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: A Virginia government source tells CNN it was a disgruntled employee, 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock who worked as a certified professional engineer for the city of Virginia Beach. They say he walked into the municipal building with a. 45-caliber handgun and opened fire leaving behind a trail of carnage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CERVERA: The suspect was reloading extended magazines in that handgun firing at victims throughout the building and at our officers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Police say they want people to remember the victims and not their killer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CERVERA: We will release his name once. We're going to mention his name once. Then he will be forever referred to as "The Suspect".
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Craddock was killed during a long gun battle with police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CERVERA: We have numerous victims. And we have numerous families. Let's make sure we keep their dignity and their respect as the number one piece of news that we're going to give out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: And some new information that we can tell you this morning, CNN was able to reach the shooter's parents last night, spoke to them briefly on the phone. My colleague David Shortell was able to reach his parents.
At that moment they did not know that their son was involved in this shooting, and they told David that they did not have any indication that he had problems with anyone at his work. So hopefully we'll learn some of those details in the coming moments, Victor, while police come in here and brief us, and maybe give us more information about kind of how the shooting unfolded, some details about maybe the gun battle with police and of course the key details about a possible motive. Victor?
BLACKWELL: All right, Brian, a quick question, and you may not know the answer to this, so we'll accept that. But do we know if the Governor will be back this morning is part of this news conference or we're hearing primarily from the Mayor, the Police Chief and local officials?
TODD: We are not quite sure about the Governor. We believe the Governor is going to have an event later on this morning - a separate event, but we do not know that. We do expect the Police Chief Jim Cervera to come in and give some new details - possibly, Mayor Bobby Dyer.
Those have been the two gentlemen who had given the most details so far, and of course, we haven't had a lot of new details since last night's news conference, so we're counting on them for some key information.
And again, we're looking for any real detail about possible conflict that this man had with people at his work that might have a prompted him to come in and start shooting people. And whether there might have been a specific target in mind. Those are some things that maybe the Police Chief and the Mayor, possibly the FBI might be able to answer.
[08:05:00] BLACKWELL: Yes. And what we learned from the scanner traffic initially after the shooting and those first calls came in is that, police went quickly into this building. Obviously, since it's a public building, a city building, they knew the layout well and knew what they had to do. What's quite, I would say, ironic is that there was a specific type of training scheduled for today. Tell us about that.
TODD: That's right. There was an active shooter seminar scheduled for today that has been cancelled. But what's interesting also is that, the Police Chief and others have said that that their police officers were already very well trained for a possible event like this, and it was evident from the details that we know.
They got into the building very quickly. We're told that four law enforcement officers were the initial ones to come into the building and they quickly determined where the shooter was based on the sounds of the gunfire, and were able to engage him. Their actions might very well have saved many lives. Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Brian Todd, we'll get back to you. This news conference happening in just a few moments from now, of course we will bring that to you live. But also we want to show you this. A photo journalist from our affiliate WTKR was here at the Municipal Building yesterday, covering a different story when the shooting started.
Here's what he says happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROY RUSHING, WTKR PHOTOJOURNALIST (via telephone): Oh, it's pretty scary when I - right after 4, because we were doing a live shot at Building 1, which is like maybe a 100 yards from Building 2 where everything happened.
I see a bunch of police officers in tactical gear running around in front of Building 2 and around the back and to start surrounding it. So I figured let me go see what's going on and I got right in front of Building 2 and also - and I just hear a barrage of gunfire.
And it could have been in exchange. I'm not sure, because it sounded like there was different guns firing. And I just ducked behind the car almost instinctively, just kind of got down and I awaited for about 10 seconds or so to hear a break in the gunfire and I just hightailed back to the van.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: We're also hearing from some of the people who worked in that building CNN affiliate WTKR was on the air live. They were talking with a man whose wife was trapped in the building and here's what happened after that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY DANIELS, REUNITED WITH HIS WIFE: I was just praying the whole time, headed down here. So - there she go right there, hugging that guys, so--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, is that your wife?
DANIELS: Yes, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This gentleman who was on the phone with his wife while this shooting was going on, he is getting ready to be reunited with her after she has been debriefed by the police department and the FBI. And you can see this wonderful reunion. The relief this man is feeling--
MEGAN BANTON, WITNESS: We just heard people yelling and screaming and get down and I was one who phoned 911, so I was trying to concentrate on getting - talking to them.
We put the desk up against the door, because we didn't know if they were coming in or anything--
EDWARD WEEDEN, WITNESS: We heard this - I was like on the stairs. We go through the corridor and there was a lady on the stair unconscious, blood on her face, blood on stairway, blood on - we didn't know what happened. One of the old coworkers went upstairs to find out something else, she
came back down saying get out of the building some guys have been shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: And still the question of why. Why did this man start shooting in this public building, killing 12, injuring four more? We're expecting this news conference to start in just a couple of minutes here. We've been told that we could be just a minute or two away.
And one of the interesting elements here was that not every victim was shot inside that building, we're told that the shooter actually shot one person in a car - in a parking lot right here behind me and we're expecting more details about this.
You can see the building - Municipal Building too over my shoulder here, three floors and victims on all three floors there. And this shooter was killed in this long gun battle as described by the Police Chief.
I think we have CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, Cedric Alexander with us. Cedric can you hear me?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I hear you. I got you.
BLACKWELL: Cedric good morning to you. First--
ALEXANDER: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: Excellent. First - good morning to you. Give us an idea of what this investigation looks like? What we cannot see. I can see plenty of Virginia Police - Virginia Beach Police Department cars here, so we know there's something happening, give us an idea of the investigation that's happening behind the scenes?
[08:10:00] ALEXANDER: Well, the investigation you're seeing taking place now is a continuation of what occurred yesterday after that shooting. What you're going to have today and particularly now that you have more daylight, you're going to continue to see investigators go in and out. There's going to be a continuation of interviews of any witnesses that may be in and around this event when it occurred.
But what's going on behind the scenes with the help of both state and federal law enforcement, I'm quite sure, is finding out more about who this subject shooter was. And more importantly, to try to begin to determine what was the motive behind this act of such violence that created so much carnage.
So there's a lot of things, Victor, that are taking place at this very moment that we speak - that we're speaking that certainly is seen, but very importantly, is finding out who was that subject, what was the motive, what may have led up to this shooting.
Because more information that we have, the more we are able to make some determinations at what we can do going into the future, maybe to help stop these types of events, which seems to be so much occurring so frequently, too often in this country.
BLACKWELL: One of our colleagues reached out to this shooter's parents last night and they said at that point, they've not heard from police. Is that in this effort to find the motive, to understand why he would have done this, is that expected that at that hour that they would not have heard from police?
ALEXANDER: Well, it could be a variety of reasons why they may not have heard from police officials at this point, Victor. Considering the fact that this event is still within the last 24 hours, so a lot of things have occurred in that short period of time.
And having an opportunity to talk with and meet with his family, there's certainly on the list of things to do to determine more about who he is. But there are a lot of things that immediately at this very moment that needs to be addressed, particularly at that crime scene.
And you've got a lot of resources from both local, state and federal authorities that are there supporting each other. But it just depends on where that investigation goes. We don't know exactly what all police may be investigating and having to concern themselves with that this particular moment.
But being able to get to his family and his friends are certainly on that list, and it's very important, and they understand the importance of it. But there's a lot going on at one time. So I wouldn't too much overly concern myself with that as much as the fact that the immediacy of being able to care for those that were injured is very important as well.
BLACKWELL: Absolutely. Yes, if you see me looking down here, I'm looking at a monitor. I can - I have a live shot here of the court room where we're expecting this news conference to happen.
We were told that it was going to have in within it just a couple of minutes. It looks like they're a bit behind schedule. So let's do this. With that thanks to Cedric Alexander for his expertise, let's take a break and then hopefully they'll be starting when we come back from that break.
More live coverage of the breaking news here after 12 people killed, four people still in hospitals, the mass shooting in Virginia Beach. We'll be back.
[08:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell live in Virginia Beach we're waiting a news conference here from the Virginia Beach Police Chief, also the Mayor of Virginia Beach. We have some officials walking into the room expecting new information after this mass shooting here Friday afternoon.
At least 12 people were killed after a gunman walked into Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center and started shooting. We're told that he fired shots off on each of the three floors and there were victims found on each of those floors.
Our Brian Todd has been following this all overnight and he's there inside the courthouse where this news conference will happen. Brian the Chief here, Jim Cervera made a point in the news conference initially of saying that this shooters name will be mentioned only one time, focusing on the victims those who are deceased and those who are still in hospitals.
TODD (via telephone): That's right. The Police Chief and other officials here said, Victor, that they want to focus on the victims and their situation rather than the shooter and drawing attention to him.
You're seeing that more and more often these days, in instances of mass shootings where the shooters name is maybe mentioned a couple of times, but the officials often now try to play that down because they of course don't want to give attention to the shooter, which on occasion, he or she might be seeking.
So, yes, the Police Chief was very clear about that. He was emotional when he spoke about that. But it remains, Victor, that we still need information about this man. We need information about his possible motive. We need information about whether he was previously known to police in any way.
We are getting indications that he may not have been. The only thing we know about possible past infractions was a minor traffic violation at this point, that's the best what we know about him at this point. But to keep his name completely out of the mix, as far as media coverage, that's the debate that's ongoing among members of the media and among law enforcement authorities throughout the country.
But, the fact remains this morning that at least in this instance we do need more information about this man, about possible conflicts they might have had at his work that might have spurred him to do what he did.
We did - we were able to reach his parents last night our colleague David Shortell reached his parents briefly on the phone. And at the time David reached them they said that they did not know that their son was involved the shooting. And they told him that they did not know of any possible conflicts that he might have had at his work.
Now how deep their knowledge is of his situation, we'll - we may be able to piece that together. But the key unanswered question right now is specific motive. Another key on unanswered question is was very specific target, Victor?
[08:20:00] BLACKWELL: Yes we also learned about the weapons, the ammunition he had and with 12 dead and four injured, I mean no question, this is a horrible tragedy. But from what you've learned that this could have been a lot worse considering the capacity of the magazines that he had or that were at least found near him.
TODD (via telephone): Exactly. I mean, he came in here with a .45- caliber handgun with extended magazines and a silencer equipped with it and a rifle. This man - from every indication we're getting, came in here prepared to engage with police, possibly, and certainly prepared to inflict mass carnage and he obviously horrifically did that.
But the police officers response is being widely praised this morning and last night. They got in here quickly. The police station - the main police station here in Virginia Beach is just a couple of doors down from where the shooting occurred, so they were able to get here quickly and four officers went into the building.
Now we - you you're outside the building, we've been outside this building. It's not a really small - it's not a small building. It's got three floors. It's fairly extensive and it's a fairly large building. But they were able to find out quickly where the gunfire was coming from and get to him.
The Police Chief did say that this was a long and fairly drawn-out gun battle. And from scanner traffic, from recordings that we've listened to, we did find out from - at least one of the officers who was radioing in that he tried to barricade himself at one point, so we do know some of that detail.
Clearly, a very, very dramatic and horrific shootout and the police did sustain an injury. One of their officers was wounded. We're told that what saved his life was the fact that he was wearing a bulletproof vest. So, again, maybe some more details coming out about the gunman's weapons, his methods and his motive.
BLACKWELL: All right. Brian Todd for us there in the courthouse where this news conference was scheduled to have started about 20 minutes ago. Stand by for us. We're going to sneak in a break here.
We're going to, of course, get you the latest, hopefully, on those four victims who are still in hospitals, the latest on the investigation into this shooter and why police say he walked into that public building and started shooting coworkers and visitors. Stay with CNN's special live coverage continues in a moment.
[08:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DAVE HANSEN, VIRGINIA BEACH CITY MANAGER: I appreciate being joined by all the media that have travelled far and wide to support us. I also want to acknowledge all my elected officials that are here with me upfront and as we share information with you today.
16 hours ago, the lives of 12 people were cut short by a senseless, incomprehensible act of violence. Overnight, our chaplains, our Human Services and our Family Assistance staff and teams completed the most difficult task anyone will ever have to do, and that is notifying the next of kin. So today we all grieve.
This morning I have the responsibility to inform friends, coworkers and the public of those who lost their lives yesterday. All but one of the 12 victims were employees of the City of Virginia Beach. I have worked with most of them for many years. We want you to know who they were so in the days and weeks to come you
will learn what they meant to all of us, to their families, to their friends and to their coworkers. They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.
LaQuita C. Brown, who works in Public Works for over four and a half years and is a right-of-way agent and she is a resident of Chesapeake Virginia. Tara Welch Gallagher, who works in Public Works for over six years and serves as an engineer and is a resident of Virginia Beach.
Mary Louise Gayle, who has worked in Public Works for over 24 years and serves as a right-of-way agent and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Alexander Mikhail Gusev, who has worked for over nine years in Public Works and is a right-of-way agent and is a resident of Virginia Beach.
Katherine A. Nixon, who serves in Public Utilities for over to you 10 years as an engineer and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Richard H. Nettleton, Rich worked in Public Utilities for over 28 years served as an engineer, served with me as a Lieutenant in Germany in the 130th Engineer Brigade and was a resident of Norfolk.
Christopher Kelly Rapp, who served in Public Works for just 11 months as an engineer and is a citizen of Powhatan. Ryan Keith Cox, who served in Public Utilities for over 12 and a half years and is an account clerk and a resident of Virginia Beach.
Joshua A. Hardy (ph), who served in Public Utilities for four and a half years as an engineering technician and is a resident of Virginia Beach. Michelle "Missy" Langer, who served in Public Utilities for 12 years as an Administrative Assistant and is a resident of Virginia Beach.
[08:30:00] Robert "Bobby" Williams, who served in Public Utilities for over 41 years as a Special Projects Coordinator and is a resident of Chesapeake. Herbert "Bert" Snelling, who was a Contractor trying to fill a permit and is a resident of Virginia Beach.
So as we stop here and take a pause, I'm going to ask my Chief of Police to come forth and talk about that 13th person, Chief?
CERVERA: There's an update to where we are on the investigative process. First of all our investigators, our detectives, our forensic technicians worked through the entire night in processing our scene and with dignity and respect in removing all the victims in this particular case.
The medical examiner's office now will take over their part of the investigation and that should take the next 48 hours, while they work through it, they are bringing in additional resources from Richmond.
During the investigative process we were assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They have 40 members of their investigative forensic task force from Quantico and other places in - throughout Virginia assist us in this particular case. This is a large scale crime scene. It's a horrific crime scene and
please understand it takes not only a physical, emotional and psychological toll on everyone who spent the night inside that particular building.
ATF is also assisting us. We did recover additional weapons at the scene. I'm not at liberty to tell what those weapons are at this time. We also recovered additional weapons at the suspect's home.
The suspect, and this will be the only time we will announce his name, is DeWayne Craddock. He was an engineer with Public Utilities. He was employed with that department for approximately 15 years. The suspect's family has also been notified.
Victims, employees, any witnesses who wish to give additional information, there's a phone line set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). We also have a large-scale number of counselors available for the city employees from building - for all city employees who are touched by this event as well as citizens and family members who may also be affected by this particular event.
We were able to review some film last night, review some film of the officers who responded into the building. The officers checked every room on every floor, every closet, under every desk and they escorted a large number of city employees out of the building.
And remember, they were escorting them out of the building while the victims were still in the building. I want you to know those officers worked with compassion, they worked with caring, they worked with professionalism in assisting our brothers and sisters who work for our city.
HANSEN: Thanks Chief. We're very thankful for the outpouring of support received from the people and the community, the region and across the country. We're especially grateful for the assistance that we are receiving from our sister cities here in Hampton Roads, from our state agencies and from federal officers.
The desire to help is strong and we appreciate it more than you can say. We have posted on our VBgov website an opportunity for those that wish to volunteer to sign up - and because we've had an outpouring of volunteers to serve as chaplains, to bring comfort dogs, to provide supplies. And now we have an outpouring of those that wish to donate to the families that are going to be in turmoil for quite some time.
[08:35:00] We are now working towards employee assistance and family assistance and we will turn our attention for this - for the remainder of today to assign family liaison officers, to support those families that have been stricken by this horrible event.
We are going to wrap our arms around those that served with us here in Virginia Beach and we are going to make sure that their families, their loved ones are taken care of and are supported and that we guide them through the days and weeks ahead. And at the same time as the Chief said, we have a significant number
of employees that have been mentally and physically affected by what they went through yesterday and the vision and the images that they had to experience inside one of our major office buildings here in the Municipal Center.
I want to thank you all for being here today. And I want to thank all my elected officials for standing strong with us, and we are prepared to answer your questions possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief Cervera, is there anything you can tell us about the possible motive this morning?
CERVERA: Possible motive of the suspect, no sir, I can't at this particular time. Again, we are doing an in-depth investigation pre- incident as well as the incident.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chief was primary suspect was employees in the past?
CERVERA: I'm not at liberty to give that information, again because it's part of the investigative process that we are in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief can you tell us his employment status or at least how the shooter gained access to the premises.
HANSEN: He was still employed. He had a security pass like all employees had and he was authorized to enter the building.
CERVERA: And please keep in mind, we live in a free, open society. Citizens enter that building at all times. Citizens enter all government buildings except for schools and courts where there's a different level of security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief would you give any indication that he had specific person that he wanted to target or personnel?
CERVERA: I do not have that at this time. Again, as we as we go further into the investigation we may have additional information on that, whether it's an individual or not, we do have a large-scale number of victims that were killed by the suspect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, can you comment on all of the victims were - most of them concentrated going office or (inaudible). I know you said yesterday that there were victims found on all three floors, were majority of - a group of them found in one place?
CERVERA: Victims were on - throughout the building except for the basement, so no sir, it wasn't just one particular area that could be, that's what he was looking for. But once he began - once he engaged in this activity, it just continued throughout the building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there anyone killed in the office he worked in?
CERVERA: I have - do not have the specific information on that right now. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did the shooter say anything according to
officers who were there. Did he say anything at all (inaudible) while the shots were being fired (inaudible) by police.
CERVERA: No, they didn't have any engagement with him verbally. Once they identified him, he identified them, he immediately opened fired. We immediately returned the fire. And again I want everyone to know that this was a long-term - lack of any other term, running gun battle with this individual.
This was not what is traditionally a police involved shooting. This was a long-term, large gunfight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --employees worked on Monday?
CERVERA: I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where will the city employees - city employees work on Monday morning?
HANSEN: We are working through that. Building 2 will be closed. We are going to have to relocate some of our major services that Public Utilities provided. They, of course, oversee our city services and so we we've got to re-establish some financial connectivity for bill- paying et cetera. We're in the process with the IT department relocating. But that building is going to take a little bit of time to reopen.
We are we are looking at what level of service the government will provide to our citizens on Monday and we'll be making those announcements today and tomorrow, so stay informed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there any incidence on the suspect's personnel file in past 15 years that jump out--
[08:40:00] HANSEN: I'm not going to comment on HR related issue at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you--
HANSEN: I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you all know any prior criminal records of him?
HANSEN: Not going to make a comment on that right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) military or active military?
HANSEN: I'm not going to make that comment at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How secure was the building?
HANSEN: How secure was the building?
CERVERA: Can I? HANSEN: Yes, go ahead.
CERVERA: It's an open government building. Citizens have the right to access open government buildings. Employees have a right to access their worksite. It's an open government building.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there any plans--
HANSEN: I will - I'm going to follow up on that to say that, the entry corridors and the service - the Public Service desks for those infrastructure departments are served by administrative assistants that work with the public, but all the inner - all the accesses to the inner offices and conference rooms are secured and require this pass. And as I've told you, he was in possession of a pass.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --access to this building is important. But considering he duck punch of an attack might we reassess security at this building?
HANSEN: Of course, we will do an after-action review and take appropriate actions should we determine that is a requirement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to follow-up on the trauma obviously, everyone is experiencing right now. What plan is there for assisting psychologically to all the witnesses, victims and other employees?
HANSEN: We have numerous agencies that provide both family assistance and employee assistance. We have an outpouring of support from our sister cities, from state agencies, from national nonprofit organizations that do this.
We are bringing them to bear you know we have just informed the families. You can imagine what they're going through. We are going to assign honor guard officers and from both our Police Department and our Fire Department as family liaison officers so that they feel secure.
They will be supported and assisted and as I said, we're going to wrap our arms around our employees and their families and we are going to remain vigilant as well as committed to recovering from this incident.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we just talk about the other victims, how many are still hospitalized, how they're coming along.
HANSEN: Well, right now we're tracking four that are seriously injured and I appreciate you asking that question. And a lot of us have said a lot of prayers that we were able to pull them through, and so they are - both Virginia Beach and Norfolk hospitals at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us male, female employees - where there were employees--
HANSEN: No, I'm not going to relate patient data at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there anything in his personnel file - assessing personnel file, was there any indication that there was some kind of change in his work status that might have been a factor - was he told he would be terminated, was he told that he was being disciplined or something?
HANSEN: I'm not going to make comment on that, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You highlighted the fast response by police was likely to save lives. How long though was this gun battle?
CERVERA: It was - I can't - I cannot tell you how many minutes, I can't tell you how many seconds. In police work, a long gun battle means multiple, multiple shots were being fired by the suspect. So this wasn't a one-shot incident.
Also yesterday the question was asked about training, and as recent as March 30th, we had a large-scale training event which incorporated not only police, but our colleagues in fire and EMS and Sheriff's Department to be able to respond to a large-scale event such as this. So that was only a few weeks prior to this particular incident.
But I do want you to know that, while we trained extensively, while we go over all of our protocols extensively, once you enter an environment such as this everything changes. Things change in a moment's notice such as the gun battle with the suspect.
So we did train as recent as March 30th, but officers had to make instantaneous decisions at that moment of time on how to engage this suspect. They did it miraculously, because you're right, they did save other lives.
CERVERA: I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --officer, how is he doing right now?
CERVERA: He's fine - he is doing well. He was observed last night. We did take him to medical assistance. He's OK. And again, it's the fact that he has a bulletproof vest which saved his life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What information has he given to you that you might be able to share with us - ?
CERVERA: I cannot share information that that officer gave. I do want you to know, remember that when we have a situation such as this and we begin to debrief our officers, there's numerous investigations that go simultaneously. One of which is a criminal investigation, because they did use deadly force. And then we also have administrative investigations.
[08:45:00] But we also have to keep in mind that there's a time period in which we want our officers to be able to not instantaneously have to give a decision. This is the most emotional event anyone can ever go through, and that's why we look out for the safety and welfare of our officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, you mentioned minutes, are we speaking more or less than 30 minutes?
CERVERA: Less than 30 minutes, yes sir.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How quickly did officer came--
CERVERA: I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How quickly did officers arrived?
CERVERA: Within from the first call that went out from Building 2, within minutes they were in that building.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any how many --?
CERVERA: I don't have that exact data with me. But two of the individuals were supervisors from our building which is right across the street from Building 2, they immediately mobilized, and two of our K9 officers were with them, so they were in that building within minutes of the first call.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief you are shouldering all of this, how are you doing?
CERVERA: I'm fine. We have a lot of support from our city. My main concern is our city workforce, my main concern making sure that our managers give all the information he needs to proceed forward. We do have a large city. We will open up on Monday.
And even though we will grieve as a city, we will continue to move forward. And the other thing is, I want to make sure that all of our officers, our firefighters and EMS personnel that were at that scene are taken care of at this moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief is the--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me, we're going to take one more question, and then we will anticipate another briefing later this afternoon. One more question please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just mentioned that two officers who obviously knowing this complex ran from the building, is that accurate, ran from the quarter?
CERVERA: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just talked about your proximity of the Police Department that - what you said yesterday 400 - around 400 workers in that building, how did the proximity of a Police Department building to help you--
CERVERA: Well, it's very close. It's within a couple hundred or maybe a 100- 150 yards of each building, so there was two supervisors and these are detective supervisors. They were out of the building instantaneously. They had the proper identification equipment on them, so that when other officers respond to the scene, they know that they are investigators with our department. And remember, once they made entry into Building 2, they had to
immediately determine who was a city worker escaping from the building and who could be the suspect. So there were a lot of different things that were happening simultaneously, unlike when you see something like this in a choreographed TV or movie special, this is a very different environment. You cannot replicate the intensity of an environment such as this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last question, you anticipate people (inaudible) come to this building. This is public building like you said, business in this building. Do you anticipate your public is safer in the coming days and weeks?
HANSEN: Our job is to provide public safety to our residents, our visitors, our businesses and we will ensure that they feel safe. As you heard, we can't answer a lot of these questions, because investigation continues. We're still inside the first 24 hours.
I can't speak enough about the courage that police and forensics are showing in that building with the carnage that exists in there, and the work that they have done. And I can tell you that they are they are performing admirably, with great courage.
And that extends across all of the employees of Virginia Beach and those that are supporting us as we do the heavy lifting in these initial hours. We will keep you informed. Our public affairs team is very thorough and inclusive and we will announce our next press conference very shortly, so thank you very much for being here.
CERVERA: Since we began the press briefings we continually mention that we must keep the dignity and respect of the victims first and foremost. And all the questions that I received up to this point, I particularly want to thank the members of the media for understanding that, and for keeping their dignity and our respect first and foremost and everything that you've been talking about.
[08:50:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We appreciate you all being here. We anticipate having another press conference this afternoon.
BLACKWELL: All right. You've been listening to the Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera and Dave Hansen, the Virginia Beach City Manager giving a few details on the investigation.
But what we've learned here are the names that we've seen the faces of those 12 people who were killed here yesterday, 11 of them city employees, one a contractor who was working to get approval for a permit.
And those city employees were not just people on a job. Many of them had made this a career with - in terms of service from 11 months to more than 40 years here. The faces of those who have been killed on your screen we also know that four people are still in local hospitals with serious injuries.
And we know that as part of this investigation that investigators say they have now found not only the weapons that were on scene, of which we've discussed the . 45-caliber handgun, the rifle, the suppressor, but also weapons found at the shooters home. The Police Chief would not go into details there.
We'll take a quick break. We'll talk more about the breaking news here in Virginia Beach, those 12 people killed, four still in hospitals and what we are learning about that shooter. Stay with us. Live special coverage continues in a moment.
[08:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLACKWELL: Back live here in Virginia Beach, I'm Victor Blackwell. We just received new information on the mass shooting that happened here. Authorities just wrapped up a news conference, an update on the shooting that claimed 12lives.
Investigators have now shared the names and the faces of those 12, 11 of whom were employees of the city. They worked for Virginia Beach residents. And speaking moments ago, the City Manager said the community, the government here, the people will do everything to help the victims' families and of course those survivors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANSEN: We are going to wrap our arms around those that served with us here in Virginia Beach and we are going to make sure that their families, their loved ones are taken care of and are supported and that we guide them through the days and weeks ahead.
And at the same time as the Chief said, we have a significant number of employees that have been mentally and physically affected by what they went through yesterday and the vision and the images that they had to experience inside one of our major office buildings here in the Municipal Center.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Police say the suspect is DeWayne Craddock, an engineer who worked for the city. He was killed in that shootout with police. Christi back to you.
PAUL: Victor, thank you so much. I want to bring in Representative Gregory Meeks of New York. I know Representative Meeks you've been listening to this. What is your reaction, first of all?
REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): You know, my heart is just broken to see those men and women who just went to work and never will never get back home, and to feel the pain of their families.
And then rush (ph) is the frustration that we have in Washington D.C. to fix this problem that we have in the United States of gun violence. It's an epidemic. And I know I am tired. I have been in Congress 20 years of now. It just seems it has accelerated that event after event, we'll go back on the floor, and we'll have a moment of silence, and then do nothing.
PAUL: Why do you do nothing? There are people waking up to this again, wondering what is Congress doing by not being able to pass some sort of legislation that can protect the Second Amendment, but they can also protect our people?
MEEKS: Look, I don't have an answer to that question. I think that we have some common sense gun legislation that most of America agrees, all in the polls and everyone into that. The NRA and those that support the NRA have to answer that question.
PAUL: But the NRA--
MEEKS: It just does not make sense.
PAUL: But the NRA not elected officials. The NRA are not people who can enact laws. What is your biggest - what is your biggest obstacle, when you go back into chambers and you have these conversations?
MEEKS: Well, I don't have an obstacle. If you go and look at most of the folks in the Democratic Caucus, particularly, I know that I got - I vote for it. I would vote for it today. I would have voted for it yesterday. There's not an issue.
You have to have 218 people to pass a bill and so I would say that we have to go and look at those individuals who refuse to pass a common sense bill, and focus on them. Because that's what - and we need the individuals within those respective districts to focus on them, and say we demand that you vote for this commonsense gun control.
And we have tried to work, giving everybody, you know, something that they need, making sure that we're not hurting those that use weapons to hunt and do other things. It just does not make sense.
So yes, I am frustrated just as you. I know that I am and most of my colleagues on the Democratic side of the aisle, at any rate, are frustrated, because we want to do something. I have been here 20 years. This is ridiculous, and it's got to stop.
PAUL: Representative Gregory Meeks from New York, we appreciate you being with us, sir. Thank you.
We're going to be back here at10:00 a. m. Eastern for CNN NEWSROOM, Smerconish is with you next. Stay close.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, SMERCONISH: I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. Twelve people died in Virginia yesterday and my first reaction was to wonder whether to cover it.