Virginia Beach shooting victim’s family reacts to plans for new VB Strong Center


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Sentara Healthcare is hosting a hiring event on Thursday to staff the upcoming VB Strong Center in Virginia Beach.

The center is being created to support the victims and families affected by the May 31 shooting that killed 12 people and left four injured.

As the city of Virginia Beach moves forward with their plans, some of the victims’ families aren’t quite sure what to think.

“I hope it works out. I think the employees need it,” said Jason Nixon, whose wife Katherine Nixon was killed in the shooting. “I think the people who saw my wife murdered that day need to go through PTSD counseling in a serious manner.”

The VB Strong Center planned for opening in October will provide long-term resources and serve as a referral center for everyone affected by the tragedy.

“A place of peace and healing that will be a resource to the community, and we wanted it to be in close proximity to the municipal center,” said Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital President Elwood Boone.

Nixon says he sees the benefit for city employees and those who there that fateful day, but for him and his family, he says he needs more questions answered first.

“It doesn’t impress me. What would impress me is if they came back and said you have the option to have your medical and dental insurance, if Kate was to retire, that’s what we would have,” Nixon said.

The center comes from a $3 million federal grant and the city is working with Sentara General Hospital to make it happen.

“The city reached out to us to Sentara, and specifically to Beach General, given the relationship and the partnership that we have with the city and the role that we played in caring for the victims,” Boone said.

Nixon says he’s hoping for the best for the center and will wait to judge it completely until it opens, but with a wound so fresh, much is needed moving forward to help all of those affected by what happened on May 31, just after 4 p.m.

“For me personally as a victim, as a family member, it’s not going to do me much good,” Nixon said.

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