At least 12 people were killed and several injured on Friday in a mass shooting at a government building in the US state of Virginia.
The suspect was a long-term and current Virginia Beach city employee, fired “indiscriminately” in a public utilities building. The gunman’s identity was not released, he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.
The shooting began at 4pm local time, Virginia Beach Municipal Center, in an area which is home to a number of city government buildings. The area was put into lockdown by police and employees were evacuated.
Police Chief James Cervera said that one of the victims was shot outside in a car, and the rest were found over three floors of the government building. Four officers entered the building and located the gunman inside and “immediately engaged” him, added chief Cervera.
The police chief said the crime scene was “horrific” and could “best be described as a war zone”.
Police recovered a rifle and a handgun, thought to have been used by the suspect, at the scene.
The identities of the 12 victims and the suspect have not yet been released. Chief Cervera said the suspect’s name would only be released after the victims’ families had been notified.
At least four people are known to have been wounded, including a police officer, but the severity of their injuries remained unclear.
Robert Dyer, the city’s mayor, said: “This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach.”
Virginia governor Ralph Northam described the incident as a “tragic day” for the city and the state.
President Trump was briefed about the incident.
Moreover, the mass shooting reignites the debates for strong gun laws.
Source : Various