Virginia Beach city staffer fired for comments on shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) — A Virginia Beach city employee has been fired and charged with disturbing the peace after supervisors said she threatened them during a meeting about the deadly mass shooting that erupted in a city building in May.

It’s the second time since the killings that authorities have filed the misdemeanour charge against a city employee who allegedly became hostile toward supervisors.

The Virginian-Pilot reported on Friday that 48-year-old human services worker Elizabeth Mann told managers that the slayings of 11 city employees and a building contractor could have been prevented. Mann also told supervisor Wendy Swallow that Swallow was the type of person who pushed the shooter to act, according to a partial recording of the June 3 meeting obtained by the newspaper.

“You are exactly the same type of supervisor that probably pushed this guy to do that,” Mann told Swallow.

On May 31, city engineer DeWayne Craddock opened fire in the municipal building where he worked. He had submitted his resignation the same day.

The criminal complaint filed by police against Mann alleged that she used an aggressive tone and that Swallow feared for her safety.

Swallow did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.

Mann told the newspaper that she never cursed and was sitting throughout the encounter.

“I wasn’t comparing myself to the shooter or justifying his actions at all,” she said.

City spokeswoman Julie Hill confirmed Mann’s termination.

She also confirmed that mental health services are being offered to employees to help them process the tragedy, but declined to comment further.

Mann also faces protective orders from four supervisors, including Swallow. Hill said the supervisors filed the protective orders as private citizens and not in any official capacity.

The three other supervisors did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.