Gunned down at work
Why did a Virginia Beach employee open fire in his workplace?
As the families of the dozen people DeWayne Craddock shot to death on Friday plan their funerals, authorities try to determine what motivated the 40-year-old to bring guns into the Virginia Beach City municipal building and open fire.
Eleven of the victims were co-workers of Craddock’s: Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan, and Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach, Tara Welch Gallagher, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Katherine A. Nixon, Ryan Keith Cox, Joshua O. Hardy and Michelle Langer, all of Virginia Beach; Laquita C. Brown and Robert Williams, both of Chesapeake and Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk. They included four engineers, three right-of-way agents, an account clerk, a technician, an administrative assistant and a special projects coordinator.
One victim, Herbert Snelling of Virginia Beach, was a contractor who’d come to the building for a permit.
Craddock was shot and killed by police.
Along with those killed in the rampage, four people were critically injured and were in hospital intensive care units as of Sunday, according to news reports.
Police said Craddock appeared to fire indiscriminately, without a specific target. One victim was killed outside the building, while sitting in a vehicle.
No disciplinary actions
According to his employer, he had no disciplinary actions pending had not been recently terminated or was about to be terminated – factors which were present at a deadly shooting at an Illinois manufacturing plant in February and one at a Michigan trucking company in April.
Craddock reportedly sent an email resigning his position on the morning of the shooting – one which officials are trying to locate. Hampering the investigation into the incident is the fact that Craddock’s supervisor, who may have been able to provide information, was one of the victims.
|45 percent of active shooter situations occur in businesses.|
Active shooter situations have emerged as a significant workplace safety – and public safety – issue in recent years. There were 29 active shooter events in the United States. Most involved the use of firearms.
Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Although many occur at “soft targets” – like churches and schools, which are easily accessed and have a high density of people – 45 percent occur in businesses.
The U.S. has a “staggeringly high” number of active and mass shooter incidents when compared to other developed nations, according to AlertFind, a maker of emergency alert systems. The company points to a U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health report released in 2016 that found the U.S. had more public mass shootings than any other of the 170 nations investigated.
“The study warned that the U.S. and other nations with high firearm ownership rates may be particularly susceptible to future public mass shootings, even if they are relatively peaceful or mentally healthy according to other national indicators.”
Most incidents (70 percent) end with the shooter dying by suicide or in an exchange of gunfire with police. In about 13 percent of the cases, they are ended by the intervention of unarmed civilians.
Department of Homeland Security has some recommendations for how to survive an actor shooter situation. Among them:
- Look for the two nearest exits anywhere you go, and have an escape path in mind & identify places you could hide.
- RUN and escape, if possible – and leave your belongings behind.
- If escape is not possible, hide. Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate.
- Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off lights.
- Don’t hide in groups- spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter.
- Fight as an absolute last resort.
Once law enforcement is on the scene, their first task is to end the incident, and they may have to pass injured along the way.
After you are involved in an active shooter incident, you should consider seeking professional help for you and your family to cope with the long-term effects of the trauma.