At least 11 people are dead, and six people were injured Friday when a shooter, who was shot and killed by police, opened fire inside a Virginia Beach city building, Police Chief Jim A. Cervera said on Friday.
The shooter was a current longtime public utility worker for the city, Cervera said. Authorities have not released his name or a possible motive for the shooting.
“This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach,” Mayor Bobby Dwyer said. “The people involved are our friends, coworkers, neighbors and colleagues.”
Five people were taken Virginia Beach General, and one person was being flown to the Level I Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the Virginian-Pilot reported. A Virginia Beach police officer was among those shot, but was saved by his bullet-proof vest, Cervera said.
Authorities said via social media they believed there was just one shooter at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam urged his constituents to stay away from the area and abide law enforcement warnings in a tweet on Friday.
“This is just a horrific day,” Northam told reporters as he arrived to get a briefing on the shooting.
The shooting occurred shortly after 4 p.m., when the suspect entered Building 2 of the center on Friday afternoon. It houses departments such as planning, public works and public utilities, and employees were seen exiting the building in tears, with some in need of medical assistance, according to reports by Fox News affiliate WAVY News 10.
He fired at multiple employees on different floors, Cevera said. He fired on responding police officers before being shot and killed.
“It's a huge scene,” Cervera told reporters at a news conference.
Christina Pullen, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Norfolk, said the bureau responded to assist Virginia Beach police, The Associated Press reported. She did not have specifics on how many people were hurt.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, City Council Member Barbara Henley had just pulled up to the City Hall building just after 4 p.m. to pick up the agenda when she heard sirens and saw police cars.
“I thought it was an accident,” Henley said, according to the paper.
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This is a developing story. Check back soon for updates.