In another massacre in the United States, a shooter in Virginia Beach, Virginia, killed at least twelve people. Local police chief Jim Cervera said police officers finally shot the armed lone gunman after a long exchange of gunfire. Several people were injured when the man opened fire in a city administration building. The alleged perpetrator had been employed by the city for a long time. Mayor Bobby Dyer said Friday night, “This is the most devastating day in Virginia Beach history.”
Cervera said four people were operated on in hospitals. There may be more injuries. The alleged perpetrator entered the administration building on Friday afternoon and randomly shot people on all three floors of the building with his large-caliber handgun. He was equipped with several oversized magazines. When the police arrived, the shooter also shot them. A police officer was hit, his protective vest saved his life.
The alleged perpetrator had apparently recently been given notice
The local broadcaster WAVY reported that the alleged perpetrator was an urban employee who was fired on Thursday. Police chief Cervera said the man was still employed by the city. He spoke of a “devastating incident” in which much is still unclear. “We really have more questions than we have answers.” He didn’t have the words to describe such an incident. The local police are supported in the investigation by the federal police FBI.
Cervera said investigators were investigating a crime scene that could “best be described as a war zone.” A city employee who was in the building during the attack said WAVY that she heard screams and shots and called 911. “We barricaded ourselves in the office.” She and her colleagues would have blocked the door with a desk. “We just hoped it would be over soon.” The woman added, “I don’t know what kind of person that would do that.”
The act caused horror in the United States. In America, too, the lax weapon laws repeatedly result in fatal attacks in which perpetrators shoot at people indiscriminately. In October 2017, for example, a man in Las Vegas opened fire at a music festival and killed 59 people. In June 2016, a man in Orlando shot 49 visitors to a gay club.
“This is unspeakable, nonsensical violence”
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam traveled to Virginia Beach on Friday to express condolences to the victims’ families. Northam spoke of a “terrible day” for Virginia. “This is unspeakable, nonsensical violence.” The White House said US President Donald Trump had been informed of the incident.
Organizations’ efforts to fight for stricter gun laws fail due to the resistance of mainly conservative politicians and the gun lobby organization NRA. Trump said at an NRA event in April that his Republicans were the party that would protect the right to hold arms. With a view to the Democrats, he said at the time: “They will also take your weapons away!” He promised the gun lobbyists not to interfere with the right to gun ownership attributed to the US Constitution by conservatives.
Democratic leader in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, called the Virginia massacre on Friday “another terrible tragedy” that reminded that US gun violence must be addressed. “It can’t go on.”