NORFOLK, Va. — According to FBI findings revealed on Wednesday, a city engineer who fatally shot 12 people at a Virginia Beach municipal facility in 2019 was motivated by “perceived job grievances” that “he obsessed on for years.”
The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit discovered that DeWayne Craddock “struggled with how he regarded his own job performance and how others at work saw him,” according to the inquiry.
The FBI claimed in a press statement that the shooter’s exaggerated sense of self-importance contributed to the disagreement by leading him to think he was unfairly and frequently insulted and slighted. “The gunman saw violence as a method to resolve this disagreement and restore his twisted sense of justice.”
Because Craddock had purposefully separated himself and withdrawn from his contacts, no one or group was in a position to “see the convergence of actions that may have foretold the attack,” according to the FBI.
The FBI commented, “It is essential to highlight that only the shooter knew the true reason why he perpetrated this heinous act of violence; nevertheless, at this time, the FBI is satisfied that the foregoing assessment is accurate based on information obtained.”
In March, Virginia Beach police stated that they were unable to uncover a motive.
“It appears we may never know why he did this horrible deed, despite painstaking investigation effort and baseless rumors and accusations,” the city’s report said.
Craddock had spent more than nine years in the city’s public utility department. He killed 11 coworkers as well as a contractor who was in the building seeking a permit at the time. Four other people were critically injured, and a police officer who responded to the shooting was hit by a bullet in his tactical vest but averted major harm. Craddock was slain by police in a shootout.
Craddock’s life began to alter about 2017, according to the city’s study. He was going through a divorce and was having performance concerns at work. He received a written reprimand for poor performance in 2018, and he did not obtain a merit raise after failing to meet expectations on an evaluation.
The suspect “mentioned the idea that he was being burdened with duties beyond of his pay grade” at times, according to the city’s investigation. “In 2018, his supervisor addressed this issue directly. The suspect was assured that he was making progress and offered encouragement.”
According to the city’s report, investigators found nothing “any evidence of the suspect’s aggressive inclinations or acts of violence prior to May 31, 2019.”
It replicated similar results revealed in November 2019 by Chicago-based security firm Hillard Heintze. Craddock “did not work in a systematically harmful workplace,” according to the business, which gave no explanation.
The FBI investigation, on the other hand, provides some validation for some of the victims’ relatives, who have long blamed a poisonous workplace atmosphere and managers’ inability to spot warning indications.
Jason Nixon, whose wife, Kate Nixon, was murdered in the shooting, has long claimed that the gunman was enraged because he was experiencing problems at work and had missed out on a promotion.
Nixon said on Wednesday that the FBI report would have little impact since Virginia Beach “plays by its own rules.”
In its 2019 report to Virginia Beach, Hillard Heintze made numerous suggestions, including enhancing the city’s workplace violence prevention programs and human resources duties. Virginia Beach has implemented — or is in the midst of adopting — a number of the suggestions, according to city spokesperson Julie Hill.
“No matter how much information we have about some situations, it may never be enough to really explain what happened and why,” Mayor Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer said in a statement released Wednesday. “We have seen the worst evil one person can do, and the very best of what a community can do when people come together.”
The shooting spree in Virginia Beach was the most recent in a succession of high-profile mass shootings, occurring between the high school shootings in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people, and the Walmart massacre in El Paso, Texas, which killed 23 people.
After the public emphasis moved on to subsequent mass killings, several of the victims’ families thought that the tragedy was essentially forgotten. Then came the coronavirus epidemic.
A legislative panel set up to investigate the mass shooting in Virginia Beach is currently looking into the incident. According to Kate Hourin, a spokesperson for the Virginia Office of the State Inspector General, it conducted its inaugural meeting Wednesday morning.
The state Inspector General’s office is assisting the inquiry, which will look into Craddock’s probable intentions and make suggestions to reduce the danger of future shootings.