More news on Virginia Beach shooting; Northam hints at gun control legislation with executive action; two candidates declare themselves winners of Hanover primary and more headlines

Virginia Mercury


Updates from Virginia Beach:

• The gunman, a longtime engineer in the public utilities department, had emailed his resignation and two weeks’ notice hours before opening fire on his colleagues. Officials have not commented on the suspected motive behind the shooting. – The Virginian-Pilot

• The 12 victims include an engineer who leaves behind a 22-month-old son, a right-of-way agent who was about to get an award for her work on land appraisals, and a contractor who led his church’s security team. – The Washington Post

• One survivor says he crossed paths with the gunman three times during the rampage and thought the shooting was a drill. “By the way he walked past me, he barely gave me a glance and never broke stride,” he said. “I either thought he was playing the part of the bad guy or playing the part of someone pursuing a bad guy.” – Associated Press

• The attack unfolded over 35 minutes and the police response was nearly instantaneous, with four plainclothes detectives entering the building minutes after the first call came in. Still, officers struggled to locate and then contain the shooter amid rapid bursts of gunfire. – The Virginian-Pilot

• Gov. Ralph Northam renewed his push for gun control legislation and hinted he may try to bypass the legislature with an executive action of some kind. Northam proposed a package of legislation this year, including a bill limiting gun magazine size, but, as in years past, Republicans voted it down as a nonstarter. – Associated Press

• Experts disagree whether the suspect’s use of a silencer enabled him to carry out the rampage. – Associated Press

• Virginia Beach residents wrestled with the notion that the shooting could define their city for years to come. “You don’t want people to think about Virginia Beach and think about a shooting, just like Columbine.” – The Washington Post

More news:

• The state is considering using tobacco-settlement money to pay recent college graduates $24,000 to live and work in rural Southwest and Southside Virginia. – The Roanoke Times

• U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-10th District, told constituents at a town hall that impeaching President Trump is “on the table.” So far only one of Virginia’s congressional representatives, Rep. Don Beyer, has explicitly called for impeachment. – The Winchester Star

• NAACP leaders continue to pressure Northam to deliver on his racial reconciliation promises. “Here we are in May, and the governor has spoken with a few people in the NAACP, elected leaders, trying to do this outreach effort, saying ‘Hey, I’m really a good person.’ But he lied to the public, and has declined to speak honestly and candidly about his past with the community.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Del. Chris Peace, R-Hanover, declared himself the winner of a firehouse primary Saturday. His opponent, Scott Wyatt, had already declared himself the winner of the Republican nomination after a convention held a month ago. The two winners will now likely duke it out in court and before GOP officials. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia Tech and University of Richmond are teaming up to offer a craft beer certificate. The yearlong, noncredit program costs $2,500. – Associated Press

• Quadruplets who attended Randolph-Macon College together will graduate this weekend. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

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