Police in the US city of Virginia Beach have said that they will not say the name of the suspect in yesterday’s mass-shooting again, out of respect to the victims and their families.
According to local officials, at least twelve people were killed on Friday when a gunman opened fire on co-workers at a municipal building, before being shot and killed by responding police officers.
Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera identified the alleged shooter, understood to be a local government employee, in a press conference, and said that he would not name the man again.
“We’re going to mention his name, once,” he said. “And he will be forever referred to as ‘the suspect’ because our focus now is the dignity and respect for the victims in this case and to their families.”
At this point, photos of the twelve victims were projected onto a screen behind him, along with their names and biographical details.
Eleven of those killed were Virginia Beach city employees, while the twelfth was a contractor who was at the municipal building to obtain a permit.
The top row of the above photo shows Richard H. Nettleton, Ryan Keith Cox, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Katherine A. Nixon, Tara Welch Gallagher and Laquita C. Brown.
The bottom row shows Robert ‘Bobby’ Williams, Michelle ‘Missy’ Langer, Joshua O. Hardy, Herbert ‘Bert’ Snelling, Alexander Mikhail Gusev and Mary Louise Gayle.
Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen said that he had known and worked with many of the victims for years and that “they leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”
Local law enforcement officials say that suspect engaged in a “long gun battle” with police after the attack, but died at the scene.