VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Questions left unanswered, that is what many felt after information was released in the investigation into the Virginia Beach mass shooting that left 12 dead and 4 injured.
Some people say that update left out a lot of information. Four months after the mass shooting, lack of information isn’t good enough. The victims’ families want closure, and it appears that closure comes with more information.
A Virginia Beach Delegate’s bill to form an independent commission to investigate the mass shooting is designed to do that, get more information.
On Tuesday night, Virginia Beach Deputy Police Chief Patrick Gallagher reported to City Council and family members of the victims, “In 2018, in his annual performance evaluation, [the gunman] receives an improvement required … he was placed on and completed a performance improvement plan … he also receives a written reprimand for his performance issues from his immediate supervisor.”
This was vital information, but the problem for those who care about information was that there wasn’t enough of it. There were no further details given of the reprimand. Kevin Martingayle represents the family of victim Kate Nixon.
“We can read for ourselves,” Martingayle said. “Why not release the file? Release the entire file. No living person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
“There are a lot of questions that haven’t been answered,” says Delegate Jason Miyares, who still wants a state independent commission on issues that weren’t even mentioned in the Tuesday night update. “My independent commission is looking at the totality of what was leading up to this. The individual, what was his prior employment history? What were some of the barriers of the first responders that did not enable them to get into the building as fast as the could and then police communication with the family members afterwords.”
Martingayle, who supports Miyares’ bill, says, “police had problems getting into Building Two. They didn’t have the swipe cards used to access certain parts of the building. There was no discussion of that. How long was the day because of that and what were the consequences of that?”
“I don’t think all the families have gotten the answers they are seeking … what was going on with this individual? … And clearly people have given further information, and none of it was given last night,” Martingayle said.
Miyares summed it up this way: “It was one of the most horrific days in our city’s history. Let’s leave no stone unturned. Let’s get all these questions answered.”
We emailed Virginia Beach Police for comment, and received this email: “The briefing yesterday was to give an overview of the Police Departments’ Investigation thus far. Such details, as the particulars of a reprimand cannot be shared by us because it is a personnel matter, which we cannot comment on,” wrote MPO Linda Kuehn, who is Public Affairs Officer for the Virginia Beach Police Department
Martingayle says certainly under these circumstances there is absolutely no reasonable expectation of privacy.