A longtime city employee shot and killed 11 people and injured six others after opening fire late Friday afternoon in a public works building where he worked, in Virginia Beach police said. The man was then killed by officers after firing at them.
The shooter died at the scene after a gunfight with police.
Police Chief James Cervera told reporters Friday night that the gunman was a public utilities worker.
This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” said Mayor Bobby Dyer. “The people involved are our friends, coworkers, neighbor, colleagues.”
Cervera said the Virginia Beach shooter was confronted shortly after opening fire on multiple floors. There was an exchange of gunfire with officers, the chief said.
A police officer whose ballistic vest stopped a bullet was injured, the police chief said.
Gordon Rago, a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot, said witnesses described the scene as “frantic.”
He said the shooting occurred when people were still visiting the municipal center to conduct business.
Witnesses told him that SWAT officers were running down the street, directing them to get inside.
“I’ve talked to people who said that they were hiding under their desks,” Rago said.
The mass shooting took place in Building 2 of the municipal center, according to police.
Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center houses the operations building for the city, which include multiple departments.
Six people were hospitalized after the shooting, hospital officials tweeted.
Virginia Beach General Hospital said there were five patients there. A patient who was at Princess Anne Hospital was being transferred to Norfolk General Hospital, a Level I trauma center, the CNN report said.