State commission tasked with investigating VB mass shooting includes VB sheriff, former deputy police chief, among others

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Several familiar faces have been named to a state commission tasked with investigating the Virginia Beach mass shooting that happened in May 2019.

In total, seven members of a 20 member group have been appointed, according to the general assembly website.

They include Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle, former Del. Jerrauld Jones and former Virginia Beach Deputy Police Chief John Bell.

The appointees will work to investigate at the state level to uncover why a gunman — a city employee — shot and killed 12 people and injured several others.

In response to his appointment, Sheriff Stolle posted a statement on his Facebook page, that reads, in part: “While some answers may always elude us, I will do all I can to keep the commission focused and find whatever answers we can. I think my 18 years in the Senate of Virginia, 16 years on the Crime Commission (six years as chairman), 11 years on the Virginia Beach Police Department and 10 years as sheriff will serve me well and allow me to bring a valuable perspective to the commission. I am honored to be part of it.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam approved $77,000 in his budget to have the commission “conduct an independent, thorough, objective incident review” of the mass shooting, which happened May 31, 2019 in Building 2 of the city’s Municipal Center.

Some victims’ family members pushed for the formation of the commission after they had concerns about other probes.

This will be the third in-depth look into the shooting. Both an independent investigation conducted by independent firm Hillard Heintze and status updates from the Virginia Beach Police Department have found no solid motive.

The final completed incident report from the Virginia Beach Police Department and FBI is due in the coming weeks, a city spokesperson confirmed.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.


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