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Shooting at Virginia Beach municipal center leaves 12 dead

By
Danielle Haynes

May 31 (UPI) -- A shooting at a Virginia Beach, Va., municipal center Friday afternoon left 12 victims and the shooter dead, police Chief Jim Cervera said.

The shooting also injured four people, including a police officer who was protected by a bulletproof vest. The incident occurred in the Princess Anne community of the city.

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"This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach," Mayor Bobby Dwyer said during a Friday evening news conference. "The people involved are our friends, coworkers, neighbors and colleagues."

Cervera said the shooter was a long-term employee of the city.

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Police initially said they apprehended the shooter, but later confirmed their death.

The Virginia Beach Police Department said the shooting happened in a building near City Hall and involved a single shooter.

WAVY-TV in Norfolk, Va., reported victims were transported to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and Norfolk General Hospital. An employee in the building told the station he observed a woman covered in blood in a stairwell.

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Initially, 11 people were reported killed, but a 12th died on the way to the hospital, Cervera said at a late evening briefing for the media.

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Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., who represents the city in Congress, said her "heart is with" those affected by the shooting.

"I'm so thankful for first responders and law enforcement for risking their lives to bring a suspect into custody," she tweeted. "This is more proof Congress must act to prevent gun violence."

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Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said he was monitoring the situation and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said he was "devastated."

"My heart is with everyone who lost a loved one, and I'm praying for a swift recovery for all those who have been injured," Kaine tweeted.

Virginia Beach Master Police Officer Allen Perry told The Virginian-Pilot there was a shelter-in-place order at the center.

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The municipal center is located near the Virginia Police Department headquarters and the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office.

This is a developing story.

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