A longtime city employee opened fire indiscriminately at a municipal building in Virginia Beach on Friday, killing 12 people and sending terrified co-workers scrambling for cover before police shot and killed him, authorities said.
The shooter died after a gunfight with police.
He killed at least 12 people and sent six others to the hospital including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life, said Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera.
The city’s visibly shaken mayor, Bobby Dyer, called it “the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach.”
The shooting happened shortly after 4 p.m. when the veteran employee of the Public Utilities Department entered a building in the city’s Municipal Center, and “immediately began to indiscriminately fire upon all of the victims,” Cervera said.
He did not release the suspect’s name.
Police initially said the gunman shot and killed 11 people. Cervera later said one more died on the way to the hospital.
The shooting sent shock waves through Virginia Beach, the state’s largest city and a popular vacation spot in southeastern Virginia.
The building where the attack took place is in a suburban complex miles away from the high-rise hotels along the beach and the downtown business area.