No motive found for Virginia Beach mass shooting

Virginia Beach Shooting
Posted at 7:58 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 18:17:12-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The final investigation report on the mass shooting in Virginia Beach at the city's municipal center has officially been released.

The 2019 shooting left 12 people and the gunman dead and five more people injured.

According to a letter sent to families by the Virginia Beach city manager investigators, "deliberately and methodically processed evidence, conducted interviews, ran tests, and tested theories."

The final report detailed the tragic events that took place on May 31, 2019. However, the letter states that unfortunately, "no evidence was found that sheds light on the shooter's motive."

"We know this is one of the most difficult findings to accept, and we know that you may still have questions," Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney wrote.

"I think it's complete garbage. No one goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning and says, 'I'm gonna go shoot people up,'" said Jason Nixon, whose wife Kate was killed in the mass shooting. "I can tell you the motive: He didn't get a promotion; he was incompetent; he had HR issues and performance issues."

The report stated the suspect was a "private person" who shared little information or personal details with his coworkers. Investigations revealed that he had received several poor performance reviews, didn't meet job expectations, was denied a salary increase and believed he was being singled out because of his race.

On the day of the shooting, the suspect sent in two weeks notice to his job as a city public utilities engineer. Hours later, around 4 p.m., he went to his car to retrieve a gun, a suppressor and a backpack full of ammunition.

The Virginia Beach Police Department said in the report that the incident was 44 minutes long, revealing several diagrams noting where each victim was shot and how the suspect navigated through the building.

According to the report, during the shooting, "The suspect encountered another co-worker with whom he had an emotional conversation earlier in the day, well before the shooting started. He pointed a firearm at this coworker but did not shoot or talk to them as he walked past."

It took police eight minutes after the initial 911 call to find the suspect on the second floor, where he retreated deeper into the building. Officers were not able to follow him, as they did not possess the necessary key card to get through the doors.

According to the report, the suspect then circled behind the officers, and after an "intense" firefight in which shots were fired through doors, walls and glass and a Virginia Beach Police sergeant was injured, the suspect was taken into custody at 4:44 p.m., by VBPD SWAT officers.

The suspect was then taken to the hospital for treatment of his gunshot wounds, where he was declared dead.

The suspect left no note as to why he killed his coworkers. Investigators found that "there were no common characteristics among the victims who were killed and injured relating to their age, race or gender."

Nixon said he feels failed by the City of Virginia Beach. "I have to say shame, shame on you today," Nixon said. "This is the best you could do? There is no closure, and I'm just more fired up to fight harder."

He and other family members say they are hopeful the state investigation, which is still in process, will reveal a motive.

The last interim report was released in April of last year.

The Virginia Beach Homicide Survivor Group recently launched to help those who have suffered a violent loss of a loved one by providing a network of support.

To view the full report, click here.

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