A city engineer was obsessed with alleged workplace grievances for years before killing 12 people in a 2019 shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal complex, the FBI said. said this week, publishing the findings of a behavioral analysis that provided new insight into a motive for the attack.
The gunman, DeWayne Craddock, who was fatally injured by police, had become alienated from his colleagues about how they saw him and his own perception of his job performance, police said. findings from the agency's Behavioral Analysis Unit.
"The gunman's inflated self-esteem contributed to this conflict and led him to believe that he was unfairly and repeatedly criticized and belittled," the agency concluded. “Violence was seen by the shooter as a way to reconcile this conflict and restore his perverted view of justice.”
The findings, released Wednesday, offer an explanation for what may be inexplicable to those investigating some of the deadliest mass shootings in the country: a gunman's mentality. Several of those shootings remain mysteries, with investigators unable to determine a motive.
The agency's findings contrasted with those of the Virginia Beach Police Department, which said in March it was… may never know what mr. Craddock had driven to break.
But the FBI, whose help was enlisted by local law enforcement, said Mr Craddock, 40, a former soldier, had become such a loner that it would have been difficult to imagine the bloodshed he would demand.
"He purposely isolated himself by breaking away from relationships to hide his intentions," the agency said, adding that "no individual or group was able to see the confluence of behaviors that might have pre-empted the attack." warned."
The City of Virginia Beach has come under criticism from the victims' families for failing to say why the gunman opened fire on May 31, 2019 at Virginia Beach Municipal Center Building No. 2.
On the morning of the shooting, Mr. Craddock, a city employee of about 15, had sent a resignation email to his bosses.
"Despite exhaustive investigative work, and despite unsubstantiated rumors and allegations, it seems we will never know why he committed this heinous act," the Virginia Beach Police Department said in a final investigative report released in March.
A city spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday, but she told… The Washington Post that the FBI's analysis did not conflict with the city's conclusions and was an extension of the work begun by the city.
“We asked the FBI. to look into this because they had a level of expertise in this area that we didn't have," said Julie Hill, the spokeswoman. “This is part of the work we have requested. It was not forced on us."
The FBI said it informed the Virginia Beach Police Department of its findings, noting that the shooter experienced "significant mental health stressors" that "appeared to have contributed in part to his decompensation prior to the attack."
"But mental health stressors alone cannot explain the attack on Virginia Beach," the agency said.
Investigators said the shooter was similar in many ways to others who have carried out mass shootings and have been investigated by the F.B.I.
"Mass shootings are a predatory act, generally involving planned and targeted violence intended for an identified target, person, place or institution," the agency said.