Police say 12 people have been killed and six others injured in a mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach.
Police Chief James Cervera said Friday that a shooter opened fire and shot “indiscriminately” at workers inside an operations building in the Virginia Beach Municipal Building Friday afternoon.
Cervera said police returned fire, killing the suspect. He said the suspect was a longtime employee of the city’s Public Works Department. One of the people shot is a police officer.
A shooter wounded “multiple” people at a municipal center in Virginia Beach on Friday, according to police, who said they had taken a suspect into custody and believed the person was acting alone.
Police tweeted that there were “multiple injuries,” but did not elaborate on the exact number or extent. Sentara Healthcare tweeted that five patients were being treated at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and a sixth was being transferred to the Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Christina Pullen, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Norfolk, said the bureau is responding to assist Virginia Beach police. She did not have specifics on how many people were hurt.
A police spokesman told The Virginian-Pilot that the shooter opened fire in Building 2 of the municipal center, which is adjacent to City Hall. The building houses the city’s public works, public utilities and planning departments, according to City Councilwoman Barbara Henley, who arrived at City Hall building about 4 p.m. Friday when she saw a crowd of people standing outside.
“Somebody told me there had been a shooting and they were told to leave. Afterward, I heard a loud male voice say, ‘Get down!’ so I did,” Henley told The Associated Press.
“When the person said to get down, then everybody dispersed pretty quickly,” she said.
“I’m just sick,” she said. “All these people that I work with all the time. They are such really fine people, and I just hope they’re all safe.”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he is devastated by the shooting that left 11 dead at a Virginia Beach municipal center and is offering the state’s full support to shooting survivors and relatives of the victims.
Northam said in a statement that he was in Virginia Beach with law enforcement officials. He said the entire state is “devastated by the tragic shooting” and he decried the “unspeakable, senseless violence.”
The White House issued a statement saying that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the shooting “and continues to monitor the situation.”
Democratic presidential hopefuls New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and California Sen. Kamala Harris, were also among those who condemned the shooting Friday.