A co-worker of the Virginia Beach gunman saw him walk by with a gun in his hand. He thought it was all a drill

Posted at 4:38 AM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 12:57:42-04

When Ned Carlstrom first heard people yelling and shots being fired in Building 2 Friday, he thought it was an active shooter drill.

The co-worker of Virginia Beach gunman DeWayne Craddock told CNN affiliate WRAL that he assumed it was another drill. In fact, Virginia Beach Police had scheduled a free community workshop on what to do during a mass shootings for Saturday morning.

"I heard couple of people screaming that there was a shooter in the building," Carlstrom, an account clerk in the city's utilities department, told WRAL. "It didn't sound real, the shots were real muffled and we thought it was a drill."

As he and other employees looked for an exit, Carlstrom said he came face-to-face with Craddock. He thought Craddock was playing the part of an active shooter for a drill.

"We passed by a gentleman that was carrying a gun in his hand, but it looked so theatrical because of the extended magazine and the suppressor that was on the end of it," Carlstrom told WRAL. "He glanced at me, but he never raised the gun at me to shoot me."

But Craddock did shoot and kill 12 other people. Eleven of the victims were city employees and another was a contractor trying to get a permit.

Carlstrom expressed his surprise that Craddock was responsible. "I never would have thought it in my whole life," Carlstrom said to WRAL. "Knowing him for the time that I've known him, one, I can't picture him with a gun, and two, I can't picture him doing any acts like that."

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.