VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA (AP) – A months-long independent probe into the Virginia Beach mass shooting has concluded, but it offers no clear answers as to why a city engineer killed 12 people in his workplace, according to findings released on Wednesday.
The investigation, conducted by Chicago-based security company Hillard Heintze, found no warning signs by the shooter that could have helped the city prevent the May 31 tragedy.
The firm also said that the longtime city employee did not work in a systemically toxic workplace, which some people in this coastal city of nearly 500,000 had proposed as a possible factor.
What the investigation did reveal was a man who experienced the kind of pressures and life challenges that many people do.
DeWayne Craddock, 40, had gone through a divorce and was having trouble at work. He wrote emails on his work computer that went unsent but claimed he was unjustly disciplined. But independent investigators were at a loss to explain how such “stressors” could have translated into violence.
“The information is just not there,” Independent Security firm’s CEO Arnette Heintze told reporters after presenting a 262-page report to Virginia Beach’s City Council.
“What we can tell you is that in 2016 his life started changing,” Heintze said. “We can tell you that he started acquiring firearms, body armour and silencers. He starts visiting (newspaper websites that are reporting) on mass shootings.”
Craddock had worked in the city’s public utilities department. He used two semi-automatic handguns, a silencer and extended ammunition magazines to kill 11 of his co-workers and a contractor who had stopped at the city’s sprawling municipal complex to get a permit.
Craddock had submitted his resignation earlier in the day, citing “personal reasons”.