Attorney for victims’ families calls VB mass shooting independent investigation a ‘partial report’

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Nearly $500,000 later, some of the voices who called loudly for the independent investigation aren’t satisfied with what they got.

“What you got: a partial investigation, which means you have a partial report,” said Kevin Martingayle, an attorney representing victims’ family members.

Martingayle made the comments the day after Hillard Heintze released their 262-page report into the events of May 31. After a 16-week probe, the review team concluded they could not pinpoint exactly why a city engineer shot and killed 12 people and seriously hurt four others at Building 2 at the city’s Municipal Center. 

The founder of the firm, Arnette Heintze, explained that a better conclusion could be made once information from the shooter’s personal computer is examined. It is currently in the possession of the FBI and a final draft report from the federal agency is not expected to be completed for another four to seven months, police indicated.

Martingayle said that fact flies in the face of the original intent of the independent investigation. He was one of the louder voices that called for the outside investigation in the aftermath of the shooting, after reports that the shooter’s standing within the city’s public works department was different than what the city initially reported.

“For Hillard Heintze to do their job thoroughly and completely, is for them to have access to everything. Not 90 percent of it,” Martingayle said.

“You will not find any occasion where the FBI conducts an investigation and they are sharing information with public resources,” Heintze told reporters Wednesday night. “Just doesn’t happen.”

The investigative team conducted 230 interviews, met with a majority of the affected families, held 4 listening sessions, combed through 335,000 emails, 6,500 documents and commissioned two surveys.

“Everything that Virginia Beach had … they gave to us,” Heintze said.

At-large Councilman John Moss asked how the investigative team could be sure that they truly did get all the information that the city had available.

Debra Kirby with Hillard Heintze explained the team did not have access to the city servers directly, but did cross reference email correspondence.

“We have confidence in that what we downloaded and indexed was consistent with what was delivered,” Kirby said. “But whether or not there was an action by the city behind the scenes, we can’t determine that.”

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