Virginia Beach shooting: A timeline of how the massacre unfolded

By most accounts, the man who killed 12 people last week in a public works building in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was a quiet man who revealed little of the hatred that would mark the final minutes of his life.

The questions the loved ones of those killed struggle with now will likely go unanswered, as DeWayne Craddock, the alleged shooter, died after exchanging gunfire with police in what the Virginia Beach police chief classified as a “long-term, large gunfight.”

While officials could offer no clear motive for the shooting, Chief James Cervera on Sunday presented an outline detailing how Craddock, a civil engineer who specialized in sewer pipelines and pump station replacements, went through Building 2 of the city’s municipal facility, shooting and killing his co-workers.

>>Virginia Beach shooting: Who are the 12 victims?

Craddock, 40, had resigned via a two-sentence email Friday morning, citing "personal problems" as the reason he was leaving his job. By the end of the workday, he would shoot at least 16 people, killing 12.
According to Cervera, here is what happened:

3:55 p.m.: Joseph Scott, a fellow engineer, sees Cradock brushing his teeth in the men's room. "He was in there brushing his teeth, which he always did after he ate," Scott said.

“I said, ‘Hey, how you doing?’?He said he was doing OK. I asked, ‘Any plans for the weekend?’ And he said, ‘No.’?”

Scott said he told him, “'Well, have a good day,'” adding, “And he said the same to me.”

About 4 p.m.: Five minutes after wishing Scott a good day, Craddock goes outside Building 2 and shoots a contractor who had come to file for a permit. According to police, Herbert "Bert" Snelling was in a parked vehicle and was shot "several times."

4:08 p.m.: The first call comes in to police about a man who has been "possibly shot" in front of Building 2. The building is near city hall. Within seconds, dispatchers begin to receive calls about a shooting at Building 2. They are told the gunfire is continuing.

4:10 p.m.: Four police officers – two detectives and two officers from a K9 operations unit – arrive at the scene and find a gunshot victim outside Building 2. The four officers run toward the building from their own building about 300 yards away after hearing word of a shooter. In the meantime, Craddock shoots a woman who was leaving work to go home.

>> Virginia Beach shooting: Who was DeWayne Craddock, identified as the gunman?

4:12 p.m.: Police enter the building as Craddock, who joined the Army National Guard after high school, continues to move through building's three stories, apparently firing "indiscriminately" using two .45-caliber pistols. The weapons were purchased legally, Ashan Benedict, the special agent in charge of the Washington field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said at a news conference Saturday. According to Cervera, at least one pistol had a noise suppressor – a device designed to muffle the sound of gunfire.

Between 4:12 and 4:15: Craddock is walking through the office building, firing his weapons. Several witnesses recount his movements.

Ned Carlstrom, who works in the city’s billing section, said he thought the incident was an active-shooter drill and that Craddock was an actor in the exercise. Carlstrom said he came face-to-face with Craddock three times during the incident, but that Cradock never aimed the gun at him.

Minutes into the massacre, Craddock came up on Carlstrom and another man sitting in a room. The other man, Terry Inman, yelled to Craddock to stop shooting.

“He turned and looked straight at me, but he didn’t see me,” Inman, 61, said. “He looked straight in my face and he did not see me standing there because he didn’t raise the gun. Inman says he believes divine intervention kept him from being shot.

“To me, that was the Holy Spirit inflecting something on that man to the point where he didn’t see Terry Inman standing there.

Another city employee was not so fortunate. At this time, Ryan Keith Cox, 50, reaches a safe room soon after the shooting started. He and nine co-workers huddle in the locked room, hoping to avoid Craddock.

However, Cox decides to leave the room as the group starts moving a file cabinet in front of the door. Cox, the son of a pastor, says he wants to go help others. He is shot when Craddock confronts him as he steps outside of the room.

Between 4:15 p.m. and 4:18 p.m.: Officers come upon Craddock in the east stairwell of the building's second floor and engage him in a gun battle. He fires rounds at officers that number "well into the double digits," according to Cervera. Police return fire. No words are exchanged between the gunman and police during the gunfight.

"They didn't have any engagement with him verbally," Cervera said. "Once they identified him and he identified them, he immediately opened fire. We immediately returned the fire, and again, I want everyone to know, this was a long-term, for lack of any other term, long-running gun battle with this individual. This is not what is traditionally a police-involved shooting. This was a long-term, large gunfight."

4:19 p.m.: One of the officers involved in the gun battle is shot in the stomach. He is wearing a bulletproof vest that likely saved his life.

People in the building begin to realize what is happening. City employee Megan Banton said she was among 20 co-workers who hid in her supervisor's office: "My boss basically was like, 'This is not a drill. Get down, call 911,' and that's when I called 911. We all just ran in her office and closed the door. Basically, we just wanted to try and keep everyone safe as much as we could and staying on the phone with 911. We wanted to make sure they were coming. They couldn't come fast enough. It felt like hours."

4:21 p.m.: Arriving officers are ordered to deploy on the east side of the facility to contain the shooter should he come out of the building.

4:33 p.m.: Thirty-three minutes after the shooting begins, the first of the injured are transported to a hospital. According to Cervera, the last injured person taken from the scene was transported within an hour of the first call for help.

4:44 p.m.: Craddock retreats to an office following the gun battle in the stairwell. Officers find him and eventually break open the door of the office to discover he is seriously wounded. They begin first aid, but Craddock's injuries are severe and he dies later at the hospital.

Less than an hour after the first shot, 13 people, including the shooter, are dead. Craddock, a 15-year veteran of the Virginia Beach Public Works Department, left victims on three floors of the building. As workers are escorted out of the building following the shooting, many have to step over the bodies of their dead co-workers. Police officers tell them not to look down.

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