VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The one-year anniversary of the Virginia Beach mass shooting has been emotionally tough for the victims’ families, and it’s safe to say there has been no closure.
Public Utilities Administrative Assistant Missy Langer was one of the first killed that horrific day.
“When people had to exit, they stepped over my sister.”
Langer was shot in Building 2’s south side stairwell going home for the weekend. She probably would still be alive had she left a minute earlier.
“It wants to take me to the floor. Sometimes the wind gets knocked out of me. I remember her pleasant smiling all the time, joking, hugging. She was a very personable type of person,” says Missy’s sister Debbie Borato from Florida.
“She was very outgoing, she loved to laugh. If she heard people laughing, she would walk to them to wherever that laughter was coming from, and she would want to know what they were laughing about.”
She can’t accept that Missy is gone.
“I can’t. She’s gone, but I cannot accept how she was taken.”
“I just want to stay in bed, and not think about it. I’m wanting to know why. Wanting to find answers. I’m not satisfied with a lot of things we weren’t getting from the city,” says Borato following what she described as a rollercoaster of sadness.
Right or wrong, many of the families think toxic work environment led to the shooter’s rage,
“Per a lot of employees, that man wasn’t treated very kindly, and I want those people to account for that.”
Debbie thinks court action against department supervisors is not too extreme, but that is unlikely to happen.
“They pushed this guy over the edge.”
She says Missy may have had issues with her own supervisor,
“I would get to the point where I would say ‘how is your boss treating you today?'”
Debbie’s devastating loss led her to the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year.
“It was very frustrating; we want this done. We want to get this done.”
Although they got funding for an independent state investigation, COVID-19 has delayed it. Debbie says she is afraid the sadness will never go away.
“I want to think of her in a positive manner. I don’t want to think of her in the stairwell.”
She misses her sister’s voice, the laughs, the ups and downs.
“I have nightmares. I get up in the middle of the night and walk around the house, and I still do that now.”
Something else has changed about Debbie since Missy’s death. She now has a tattoo on her arm that reads “Missy, I won’t cry. No, I won’t cry as long as you stand by me.”
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