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Man hired to investigate VB mass shooting says scope of final report ‘stops with me’

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The man who is leading the independent investigation into Virginia Beach’s mass shooting said nobody from the city staff will see the final report before it is completed.

“The final decision on what goes in the reports, stops with me,” said Arnette Heintze, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hillard Heintze, a security risk management firm out Chicago. “That’s one of the things I want to give the community clarity (on). It stops with me.”

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting on May 31 that left 12 dead and four injured at the city’s municipal center, several of the victims’ families called for an outside investigation after reports that the shooter’s standing within the city’s public works department was different than what the city has reported.

Last week, the city announced Hillard Heintze, an approved federal contractor, will be leading the independent probe.

The resolution approved by city council requires the firm to:

  • Create a timeline of facts relevant to the shooting
  • Review the shooter’s employment history and workplace interactions
  • Review relevant City policies, procedures, and practices to include those related to facility security, prevention of workplace violence, and employee alerting and response to active shooter notifications.

During a public meeting Tuesday, 5 members of the team were introduced.

The team that Hillard Heintze has assigned will consist of the following: four former secret service agents, two law enforcement officers, two attorneys, two certified fraud examiners and a mental health expert.

City Auditor Lyndon Remias, who selected the firm, said they had the best offer in regards to expertise, quality and cost.

10 On Your Side learned last week the firm has ties to Jake Jacocks, who served as Virginia Beach’s police chief for 38 years before retiring. Jacocks has done consulting work for Hillard Heintze.

Tuesday’s formal introductions will come more than a month after families of some of the workers killed in the shooting called for an outside investigation. City council voted earlier this month to order an independent investigation.

The investigation will focus on a timeline of facts, the gunman’s employment history and a review of city policies, procedures, and practices to include those related to facility security, prevention of workplace violence, and employee alerting and response to active shooter notifications.

This investigation will be conducted in addition to probes by the Virginia Beach Police Department and FBI.

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