VIRGINIA BEACH (WKBN) – Police in Virginia Beach said the death toll in a shooting at a municipal building Friday has risen to 12, along with four others who were hurt. The suspect is also dead, though police haven’t released his name yet.
One person who was hurt died on the way to the hospital, police said. The other four are in surgery Friday night.
Right now, investigators are in the process of identifying victims and letting their families know.
Police Chief Jim Cevera said it started shortly after 4 p.m. when the suspect, a current, longtime employee of Virginia Beach Public Utilities, started shooting his co-workers.
Officers said one victim was shot outside in a car before the shooter made his way to all three floors of the building. All of this happened in Building 2 of the 30-building municipal complex.
Cevera said the shooter was armed with a .45 caliber handgun with a sound suppressor on it and an extended magazine, which holds more ammunition than a regular magazine.
Police said the suspect shot randomly.
Four police officers responded to the report of an active shooter first, Cevera said. Those officers confronted the suspect in the building.
The suspect shot at them and they fired back, leading to a long, moving gun battle, Cevera said. The suspect fired several shots in this battle but was ultimately shot by police and died.
One officer was shot and hurt, but his bulletproof vest saved his life, Cevera said.
Employees told WAVY News they were just sitting at their desks when they heard gunshots, left everything and got out of the building.
One man told WAVY he and several others were able to leave the building safely. The employee said he found a woman in a stairwell, covered in blood.
“I’m feeling shaken and relieved at the same time,” another employee told reporters.
The people in public works are responsible for keeping the beach clean, WAVY said.
The FBI and Virginia State Police are helping local police with the investigation.