The morning after a 40-year-old city engineer opened fire on dozens of co-workers, killing 12 and seriously injuring four others in the deadliest shooting in the city’s history, police said they do not yet know of a motive.
DeWayne Craddock, who worked as an engineer in the city’s public utilities department for 15 years, was still an employee there when he went into the public works building armed with a .45-caliber handgun and began firing, City Manager Dave Hansen said at a press conference Saturday morning.
All but one of the victims was a city employee, Hansen said. The other was a contractor there on business. Seven of the victims were men, five were women. Their time of service with the city ranged from 11 months to 41 years.
The four who were injured remain in serious condition, Police Chief James Cervera said.
Investigators do not know if Craddock had targeted any particular victims, the chief said.
Friday’s shooting is believed to be the nation’s largest mass shooting since a dozen victims died in a California restaurant late last year.
The three-story public works building is located within the city’s municipal complex, a sprawling campus of about 30 brick, Colonial-style buildings in the rural Princess Anne area.
It’s also just about 100 to 150 yards from police headquarters. Two detective supervisors rushed to the building and arrived within minutes of receiving the dispatch call, Cervera said. Two officers with canines quickly joined them.
“They were out of the (police headquarters) building instantaneously,” the chief said. The officers engaged in a long gunbattle with Craddock, ending in the shooter’s death.
One officer was shot, but was saved by his bulletproof vest.
Hansen said the city will be providing assistance to the surviving victims, the families of those killed, and city employees in the days to come.
Municipal Building 2, where the carnage occurred, will be closed for some time, Hansen said. Some city services will have to be relocated in the meantime.
“That building is going to take a little bit of time to reopen,” Hansen said.
The building, like most every city government building is open to the public, Cervera said.
“It’s an open government building,” the chief said. “Citizens have a right to access open government buildings.”
The handgun used in the shooting was equipped with a sound suppressor and an extended magazine, Cervera said. Other weapons were recovered at the scene and at Craddock’s home.