VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – An independent investigation into the Virginia Beach tragedy is one step closer to happening.
On Wednesday, the city announced it selected a firm out of Chicago to handle a review of the events leading up to the mass shooting that killed 12 people.
10 On Your Side spoke with Jason Nixon, the husband of the late Katherine Nixon.
He’s the first one who pushed for an independent investigation, and he said he’s anxious for answers.
“There’s a lot of things that came out after the incident that need to be seen,” Nixon said.
City Auditor Lyndon Remias announced the Chicago-based firm Hillard Heintze will conduct a review of the tragedy.
We’re told the firm has past experience with workplace shooting investigations.
Remias said Hillard Heintze stood out because of their expertise and for the team assembled to conduct the review. The team includes secret service agents, high-ranking law enforcement officials, attorneys, and a licensed mental health expert.
“In our opinion, it was the most qualified firm with a broad team of various skill sets,” Remias said. “We hope that this is the first step, not only in getting those answers, but the first step in the healing process.”
Remias said the team will have unrestricted access to documents, emails, records and people unless there is something restricted by state law, although it’s not clear if that will even be an issue.
“What I’m really hoping for is full transparency,” Nixon said. “We were promised by city council full transparency. We were promised there would be no city involvement whatsoever and that’s exactly what I expect.”
Nixon said he often thinks of conversations with his wife and he wants the investigation done right.
“I know her concerns. I know the concerns the night before it all happened. I just need to have answers. That’s all the family and victims are asking for is answers,” Nixon said.
A contract with the firm could be finalized by the end of the week and the review can get started as soon as that’s done.
The estimated timeline of the investigation is 12 weeks.
We’ll keep you updated on what happens.