‘We need a different set of eyes’ Family of VB mass shooting victim wants outside investigation

Posted at 2:34 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 14:35:50-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Debbie Berato and Freddy Langer are missing their third musketeer.

"She was just happy every single minute. Every day was a good day for her," said Debbie Berato, Missy Langer's sister.

Michelle "Missy" Langer, Virginia Beach victim

Berato and her brother Freddy are in Virginia Beach this weekend for what was supposed to be a vacation to see their beloved sister Missy. The 60-year-old administrative assistant was killed nearly one month ago in the mass shooting at Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

"It's nothing you will ever think you will go through," explained Berato. "Police came to my door at 2:30 in the morning that Friday and said Missy died in the shooting. After that, it's been pure chaos."

Berato usually spoke to her sister every single day on the phone; that Friday, she hadn't. So she tried calling her around 5 p.m.

"I'm calling, I'm texting, calling, calling - nothing, no answer. I started to get scared," said Berato. Berato explained she then called hospitals, police - everything but the morgue.

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

Brother Freddy Langer still can't swallow how she was shot dead at work. "Was she by herself? Was someone with her when she passed? Was it quick?" he said.

Each day the pain and grief lingers on, but now the family is looking for answers.

"We don't feel that the city can investigate itself. There needs to be another set of eyes, not just internal eyes," said Berato.

The Langer family is the third family of the 12 victims to come forward. Jason Nixon, husband of Kate Nixon, and Denise Smallwood, twin to Joshua Hardy, are pleading for the same thing: an external investigation .

"I'm coming forward with this now because I have to do this for Missy. This sort of thing has become the norm," said Freddy.

Virginia Beach attorney Kevin Martingayle has been leading the charge for this outside investigation after he was hired by the Nixon family in early June.

Martingayle has been writing emails to the Virginia Beach City Council asking for more transparency and that they release the employees' personal records, complaints and files.

Martingayle said this is an unprecedented shooting that calls for an unparalleled response and compares it to the tragedy during the Charlottesville riots in 2017, which resulted in an investigation and report conducted from people outside the city itself.

For the Langers, they say time is of the essence.

"Maybe Virginia Beach can set the example by doing this outside investigation so it stops this stuff from happening," said Berato. "We want to learn from this and help other people. Maybe we need more security, more detectors, but Missy would want something better to come out of this."

Faces of the Virginia Beach mass shooting