DeWayne Craddock took a moment to brush his teeth at work, as he always did, on Friday before killing 12 people and wounding four others at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, a co-worker recalled.
Joseph Scott, an engineering technician, said he exchanged pleasantries with the quiet, 40-year-old certified professional engineer for the city in the bathroom shortly before the carnage.
“I said, ‘How are you doing?’ He said he was doing OK,” Scott remembered. “I asked, ‘Any plans for the weekend?’ And he said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Well, have a good day.’ And he said the same to me.”
Scott went home for the day. There was no sign of what was to come.
“I’m sure I’m going to hear all kinds of things about DeWayne, but I liked him,” Scott told CNN. “I worked with him. He was what I thought was a good person. When we were together, we would talk about family, friends, things that we were going to do, trips we were going to take and things like that.”
Scott said he worked with Craddock, whom a Virginia government source has called a “disgruntled employee,” for several years.
Scott said he doesn’t want Craddock “painted as an evil person — something happened, but it wasn’t his nature,” adding that he lost many friends Friday.
Craddock walked into the city building Friday afternoon and opened fire, police said.
Four officers who responded to the scene followed the sound of his gunshots and engaged him in a “long gunbattle,” police Chief James Cervera said. He suffered injuries during a gunfight with officers and died shortly afterward, Cervera said.
Authorities are still investigating a motive. Officials declined to answer questions Saturday about whether Craddock had threatened anyone in the building previously or faced discipline at work.
Gunman was engineer for city
Craddock was a certified professional engineer for the city of Virginia Beach in the public utilities department for about 15 years. He is listed on department news releases as a point of contact for information on local road projects over the past several years.
Before working for the city, Craddock was a project manager for a Virginia-based engineering firm. The firm’s 2003 hiring of Craddock was detailed in a local business newspaper that reported he had a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Old Dominion University.
Craddock obtained his certified professional engineer license in the state in 2008, according to Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The license was to expire in June 2020.
He enlisted in the Virginia National Guard in April 1996, according to spokesman A.A. Puryear. He was assigned to the Norfolk-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as a 13B cannon crew member.
He was discharged in April 2002 and held the rank of specialist at the time, the spokesman said. His records did not indicate overseas deployments.
Craddock’s parents, reached by phone Friday evening, confirmed to CNN that their son worked for Virginia Beach’s public utilities department but said they weren’t aware of any trouble he was having with his employer.
A search of online court records in Virginia Beach and surrounding counties shows Craddock was cited for a motor vehicle infraction in 2013 but nothing else.