Virginia Beach mass shooting victims named in emotional news conference

One by one, the city manager read the names of the people who were killed aloud.

June 01, 2019, 5:23 PM

The 12 people who were gunned down in a municipal building in Virginia Beach, allegedly by a disgruntled employee, were mothers and fathers and dedicated government workers, officials said on Saturday.

"We continue to focus on these families — on the victims. These are 12 individuals who came to work in the city of Virginia Beach thinking that they would go home in the evening and they have left a tremendous void in their families and in our community," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Northam, a trained physician who served in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, said he visited some of the victims' loved ones and went to the hospitals where some of them died and where wounded victims are still being treated, to thank the doctors, nurses and staff.

PHOTO: A handout combInation photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows victims of the mass shooting.
A handout combInation photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows victims of the mass shooting (from left) Richard H. Nettleton, Ryan Keith Cox, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Katherine A. Nixon, Tara Welch Gallagher, Laquita C. Brown, Robert 'Bobby' Williams, Michelle 'Missy' Langer, Joshua O. Hardy, Herbert 'Bert' Snelling, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, and Mary Louise Gayle.
City of Virginia Beach

"I had the opportunity to speak with some of the families. They send their thanks for the heroic deeds that were performed yesterday and I want to assure you that they are being well cared for," Northam said.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dwyer said that an "outpouring of love, empathy and a willingness to help" has poured in from across the country.

"We will not be defined by this horror," Dwyer said. "We are a city of resiliency and resolve. The true character of our city is going to rest with our citizens and our neighbors that we share borders with.

"There's no doubt that going forward we will define ourselves as a city with love and compassion for those neighbors that we lost and their families," the mayor added. "And we're not going to just do this over the next couple of weeks. This is going to be a long-term thing. This is Virginia Beach."

Earlier on Saturday, city manager Dave Hansen read the names one-by-one of the people who were killed in the mass shooting Friday afternoon in Building 2 of the Municipal Center.

PHOTO: Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen speaks to the press on June 1, 2019, in Virginia, Beach, Va
Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen speaks to the press on June 1, 2019, in Virginia, Beach, Va.
Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

Hansen, whose voice cracked with emotion, said, "I have worked with most of them for many years."

"We want you to know who they were so in the days and weeks to come, you will learn what they meant to all of us, to their families, to their friends and their coworkers," Hansen said. "They leave a void that we will never be able to fill."

As he read the names, photos of the fallen victims were shown on a projector, accompanied by their titles, departments and years of service to the city. Eleven of the victims worked for the city, Hansen said.

The victims are:

PHOTO: In this undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, VA., shows Laquita C. Brown. Brown was a right-of-way agent in the public works department.
In this undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, VA., shows Laquita C. Brown. Brown was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Brown was a right-of-way agent in the public works department.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake, Virginia, who worked in the department of public works as a right-of-way agent for four years.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Tara Welch Gallagher. Gallagher was an engineer in the public works department.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Tara Welch Gallagher. Gallagher was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Gallagher was an engineer in the public works department.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Tara Welch Gallagher of Virginia Beach, who worked in public works as an engineer for six years.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows. Gayle was a right-of-way agent with the public works department.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Mary Louise Gayle. Gayle was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Gayle was a right-of-way agent with the public works department.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Mary Louis Gayle of Virginia Beach, an engineer for 24 years at public works.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Alexander Mikhail Gusev. Gusev was a right-of-way agent with the public works department.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Alexander Mikhail Gusev. Gusset was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Gusev was a right-of-way agent with the public works department.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach, who worked as a right-of-way agent for nine years in public works.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Katherine A. Nixon. Nixon was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Nixon was an engineer.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Katherine A. Nixon. Nixon was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Nixon was an engineer.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach, an engineer who worked in public utilities for 10 years.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Richard H. Nettleton. Nettleton was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Nettleton was an engineer.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Richard H. Nettleton. Nettleton was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Nettleton was an engineer.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk, Virginia, who worked for 28 years as an engineer in public utilities. Hansen said he had served with Nettleton in Germany as members of the U.S. Army's 130th Engineer Brigade. He said Nettleton was a lieutenant in the Army.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Christopher Kelly Rapp. Rapp was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Rapp was an engineer.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Christopher Kelly Rapp. Rapp was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Rapp was an engineer.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan, Virginia, who had worked just under a year as an engineer with public works.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Ryan Keith Cox. Cox was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Cox was an account clerk.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Ryan Keith Cox. Cox was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Cox was an account clerk.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Ryan Keith Cox of Virginia Beach, an account clerk for 12 years with public utilities.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Michelle "Missy" Langer. Longer was an administrative assistant.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va., shows Michelle "Missy" Langer. Longer was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Longer was an administrative assistant.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Joshua O. Hardy of Virginia Beach, an engineer for four years with public utilities.

PHOTO: This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va.., shows Robert "Bobby" Williams. Williams was a special projects coordinator.
This undated photo made available by the City of Virginia Beach, Va.., shows Robert "Bobby" Williams. Williams was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach municipal building. Williams was a special projects coordinator.
City of Virginia Beach via AP

Michelle "Missy" Langer, an administrative assistant with public utilities for 12 years.

PHOTO: This undated photo shows Bert Snelling. Snelling was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach, Va., municipal building. Snelling was a contractor who was at the building to fill a permit.
This undated photo shows Bert Snelling. Snelling was one of twelve people killed in a shooting Friday, May 31, 2019, at a Virginia Beach, Va., municipal building. Snelling was a contractor who was at the building to fill a permit.
City of Virginia Beach via Shutterstock

Robert "Bobby" Williams of Chesapeake, a special projects coordinator with public utilities for more than four decades. He was the longest-serving city worker to die in the massacre.

Herbert "Bert" Snelling of Virginia Beach, a private contractor who was trying to fill out a permit.

Hansen said their families had been notified.

"We are going to wrap our arms around those who have served with us in Virginia Beach and make sure their families...are supported," he said.

Four other victims remain hospitalized, officials said.

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