The gunman, DeWayne Craddock, had worked for the city’s public utilities department for about 15 years, Virginia Beach police identified him as a disgruntled city engineer and co-worker of most of the victims.
Police said he used a .45 caliber handgun equipped with a “sound suppressor” device and extended ammunition magazines that he used to reload during the attack. They said more weapons were found at the scene and at Craddock’s home.
Those gathered to grieve at Saturday’s tearful ceremony sang along religious songs and held up their arms in prayer as they console each other.
All but one of the victims from the mass shooting in the coastal resort community were employed by the city, officials said at a news conference, while the other was a contractor seeking a permit. Four people were wounded.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam called for prayers while Virginia Beach Councilmember Aaron Rouse recollected his memories from the 2007 shooting at Virginia Beach and the importance of coming together and showing strength as a community.
A student from South Korea identified then as a troubled loner shot 49 people on the Virginia Tech campus with two semi-automatic pistols, killing 32 and wounding 17 on April 16, 2007.
Friday’s was the worst mass shooting in the United States since November 2018, when a dozen people were slain at a Los Angeles-area bar and grill by a gunman who then killed himself.
Virginia Beach, which sits on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, is the state’s most populous city with roughly 450,000 year-round residents.
(Production: Temis Tormo)