Virginia Beach police update timeline of events for May 31 mass shooting after errors found

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A discrepancy found in the timeline of the events for the Virginia Beach mass shooting led to police discovering several other clerical errors.

In a press release, investigators said they went back and reexamined the timeline after Virginian-Pilot reporter Gary Harki pointed out the initial discrepancy, a “typographical error on one time stamp,” said Police Chief Jim Cervera.

That led to the discovery of five clerical errors, including the time the shooter sent a work-related email and the swiping of key cards inside Building 2 during the shooting.

12 people were killed and four more were injured by public works employee DeWayne Craddock on May 31.

Cervera said previously unavailable data was also used to help refine the sequence of events.

“While the changes to the timeline are inconsequential to the major actions and outcomes of that day, it is critically important to the overall investigation that we have everything right. Going forward, we will be adding more reviews to verify and cross-check data,” he added.

Deputy Chief Pat Gallagher, who provided an interim report on the department’s investigation into the shooting last month, pointed to conflicting data sources: the suspect’s phone and GPS from a city work vehicle.

“The rest of the updates are typical of any investigative process,” Deputy Chief Gallagher added. “Adjustments are routinely made when new information becomes available and new evidence is presented. In some instances, we have conflicting data, which is the case here, between the suspect’s phone data and the vehicle locator data. As a rule, we give preference to data from a personal item, like a cell phone. The updated timeline reflects the best information we have today. Anyone who believes they have pertinent information and have not yet spoken with detectives is encouraged to contact the Virginia Beach Police Department Detective Bureau at (757) 385-4101.”

Virginia Beach Police shared this updated timeline:

May 31, 2019 Shooting
Updated Timeline – Oct. 22, 2019

Original Time Updated Time Difference Event Log Notes
6:58     Suspect leaves his residence  
7:16     Suspect arrives at municipal center  
7:21     Suspect swiped card for entry 2nd floor Engineering North Hall  
7:23     Suspect starts up his work computer and checks email  
7:41     Suspect plugs in his IPOD  
10:00-10:30     Suspect conducts web searches of: Building 2 maps, ECCS and Municipal Center Building Map  
10:30     Suspect sends email to supervisor resigning due to “personal reasons.” Supervisor responds hoping that suspect resolves his personal reasons, asks, to be clear, if his last day will be June 14th. Suspect confirms.  
10:46     First-line supervisor responds with the above information to suspect and copied mid-level supervisor  
10:52     Suspect swiped card for entry at 2nd floor SW hall of Building 2  
11:23     Suspect sends work-related email  
11:27 11:33 +6 min Suspect sends work-related email Clerical error
11:58    Suspect sends work-related email Suspect swiped card for entry at 2nd floor

North Hall

Clerical error
12:14 12:08 -6 min Suspect swiped card for entry at 2nd floor SW Hall Clerical error
1:00    Sends work-related email Clerical error
1:13 1:00 +/-12 min Suspect swiped card for entry at 2nd floor hall Clerical error
1:22 1:04 +/-18 min Suspect and 2 co-workers leave Building 2 drive together in one vehicle Two competing data sources: suspect’s phone vs. vehicle GPS
1:56-3:11 1:06:38 – 3:06:11 +/-10 min Suspect and 2 co-workers visit three project sites as part of routine “ride-around” inspection process Two competing data sources: suspect’s phone vs. vehicle GPS
3:24 3:06:11 +/-18 min All three arrive back to Building 2 (2nd floor hall) Two competing data sources: suspect’s phone vs. vehicle GPS
3:55     Suspect sends work-related email


4:02 (approx.)

Approx. 4:00-4:03:30  
2 deceased outside

Adjusted based on newly retrieved evidence
​Approx. 4:03:41   Suspect walks into Building 2 Adjusted based on newly retrieved evidence
Approx. 4:03:41- 4:03:51 +/-1:51 min 1 decease in stairwell – Suspect walks up stairs towards 3rd floor Adjusted based on newly retrieved evidence
(approx.)  Suspect enters third floor (5 deceased, 2 injured) Adjusted based on newly retrieved evidence

(Key Card)

Suspect enters 2nd floor/east side (2 deceased)

4:06 4:06:32 +0:32 sec First 911 call is received Not error, providing exact time

(Key Card)

Suspect enters west side of 2nd floor (1 deceased)
4:10 (approx.)    
Suspect walks to 3rd floor (1 injured)

VBPD officers and detectives enter building

4:11   4:11:26 +0:26 sec Suspect walks back to the 2nd floor – citizen pulls fire alarm Not error, providing exact time

(Key Card)

Suspect enters west side of 2nd floor

4:15:07 (Key Card) Suspect walks into east side of 2nd floor (1 deceased, 1 injured)  
4:16     Officer shoots suspect  
4:19     “Officer down” radio broadcast  
4:26   SWAT on scene
4:44   Suspect in custody, first aid rendered
5:32   Suspect pronounced deceased at Virginia Beach General Hospital

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