Virginia Beach To Hold Memorial For 2019 Shooting Victims

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Virginia Beach will hold a remembrance ceremony this week to mark the third anniversary of a mass shooting by a disgruntled city engineer who killed 12 people and wounded five others at a municipal building.

Tuesday evening's memorial at Mount Trashmore Park will be the first in-person memorial service for the victims since the COVID-19 pandemic hit; City Manager Patrick Duhaney will read the victims' names, The Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday.

"We know that some people grieve and heal very privately, and others benefit from having people surrounding them physically,” city spokeswoman Tiffany Russell said.

Virginia state flags will be flown at half-staff Tuesday, and the city plans other observances including wearing blue and pausing for a moment of silence at 4:06 p.m., the time that the first 911 call came in, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Virginia Beach began other memorial activities earlier this month such as painting a forget-me-not flower, which honors those killed and wounded, and illuminating three city buildings at night in blue, the color of remembrance.

On May 31, 2019, a nine-year employee of the city’s public utilities department killed 11 co-workers and a contractor who was in the building getting a permit. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police.

The rampage in Virginia Beach had been the latest in a string of high-profile mass shootings. It took place in between the high school killings in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead and the Walmart massacre in El Paso, Texas, that left 23 dead.