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Virginia Beach, Va., municipal shooter motivated by 'workplace grievances,' FBI says

Flowers and flags surround a makeshift memorial on June 2, 2019, outside the government building where a disgruntled employee killed 12 people on May 31, 2019, in Virginia Beach, Va. File Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI
Flowers and flags surround a makeshift memorial on June 2, 2019, outside the government building where a disgruntled employee killed 12 people on May 31, 2019, in Virginia Beach, Va. File Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI | License Photo

June 9 (UPI) -- A gunman who opened fire on coworkers at a Virginia Beach, Va., municipal building in 2019, killing 12 people, was motivated by perceived workplace grievances, an FBI investigation of the mass shooting revealed Wednesday.

The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit said DeWayne Craddock, who died after a firefight with police responding to the shooting May 31, 2019, fixated on those perceived grievances "for years."

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"The shooter's inflated sense of self-importance contributed to this conflict and led him to believe he was unjustly and repeatedly criticized and slighted. Violence was viewed by the shooter as a way to reconcile this conflict and restore his perverted view of justice," the report said.

Investigators said Craddock, 40, first began having troubles at work and distancing himself from coworkers to conceal his plans to respond with violence. Because of this, the BAU said, colleagues weren't in a position to notice behavioral issues that could have forewarned them of the attack.

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Craddock resigned from his job as an engineer with the city hours before coming to the municipal center and opening fire. He said he resigned from his job for personal reasons.

Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen said Craddock's job performance was "satisfactory" and that he hadn't previously faced any disciplinary measures, nor was he forced to resign. In the days after the attack, though, other government workers described Craddock as a "disgruntled employee."

"BAU assesses that the shooter suffered from significant mental health stressors which appear to have contributed in part to his decompensation in advance of the attack; however mental health stressors alone cannot explain the Virginia Beach attack," the report added.

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The BAU said Craddock shared some similarities with other active shooters the FBI has studied, describing the attack as planned, purposeful violence targeting a specific person, place or institution.

"It is important to note that only the shooter knew the real reason why he committed this horrific act of violence; however, at this time, the FBI is confident, based on evidence collected, that the above assessment is accurate," the report said.

Of the 12 victims killed in the attack, all but one worked for the city. The 12th was an independent contractor. They were identified as Lakita C. Brown, Tara Walsh Gallagher, Mary Louise Gale, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Katherine A. Nixon, Richard H. Nettleton, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Ryan Cox, Joshua A. Hardy, Michelle "Missy" Langer, Robert "Bobby" Williams and Herbert "Bert" Snelling.

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