VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares issued a very critical letter to the members of the Virginia Beach Mass Shooting Commission and sounded off on his disappointment.
He sent the letter right after the Associated Press reported on several members stepping down from the commission, which is tasked with conducting an independent investigation into the 2019 mass shooting in Virginia Beach. A city engineer fatally shot 12 people and wounded four others at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center before he was killed by police.
“I have been incredibly disappointed in the way that the commission has conducted their investigation and review thus far,” said Miyares, noting how not even half of the members attended the commission’s second meeting that was held in early August. That meeting consisted of a briefing from the FBI and five reports related to the shooting.
“When diligent members have sought access to pertinent and necessary information, they have hit resistance from the City of Virginia Beach, as well as fellow Commissioners. In recent months, the general lack of cooperation from the city of Virginia Beach, and the overall dysfunction of the Commission, has led ten of its twenty-one members to resign.”
“The failure of some commissioners and the City of Virginia Beach to prioritize the work of the Commission has been justifiably upsetting to the families of the victims and the community as a whole,” said Miyares. “I implore you, on behalf of the citizens of Virginia Beach and the Commonwealth of Virginia, to prioritize this Commission’s mission and treat your task with the seriousness and respect that it deserves. The families that have lost loved ones should expect nothing else.”
Following an inquiry from 10 On Your Side, a spokesperson for the City of Virginia Beach issued a statement that they are equally disappointed with the status of the commission.
We understand and agree that the public has a right to look further into what transpired on that tragic day, and we are equally as disappointed with what this letter revealed about the status of the Commission. We have and will partner with any investigation or request for information in support of this effort while recovery and memorial planning efforts continue.Cit of Virignia Beach Spokesperson
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