‘I have already forgiven him’: Employee spoke with suspect right before mass shooting

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Joseph Scott, a city employee, went to the restroom before leaving Building 2 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center and was one of the last people to talk to the suspected shooter before he began his rampage on Friday.

Scott says he was washing his hands in the restroom while 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock, a longtime employee in the public utilities department, was brushing his teeth.

He says Craddock always brushed his teeth after he ate something. “I asked him if he had any plans for the weekend. We walked out telling each other have a good weekend,” said Scott.

Scott says everything about the encounter seemed normal. “There was nothing by his mannerisms or countenance that would tell me that this would happen. Nothing. Dewayne was not that kind of person. I’m surprised to hear some of the things I’ve been hearing about him.”

Scott knew the majority of the 12 victims of the mass shooting. He worked with them for years.

But he doesn’t know anything about what might have caused the suspect to open fire on his fellow employees.

“The employees are extremely giving and loving. We celebrate each others triumphs. We cry when something happens to one of us. The whole community is that way– always has been and I’ve lived here since 1971,” said Scott.

Scott came to the prayer vigil at Regal Cinemas at the Strawbridge Marketplace on Saturday, looking for answers in his faith.

He’s grateful he was out of the building before the tragedy struck, but what could’ve been is not lost on him. Scott says everyone is in his prayers, including the family of the suspect.

“I have already forgiven him”

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