FBI: Perceived grievances drove Virginia Beach mass shooter

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FILE - In this June 1, 2019 file photo, a law enforcement official stands at an entrance to a municipal building that was the scene of a shooting in Virginia Beach, Va. DeWayne Craddock, a city engineer who fatally shot 12 people in a Virginia Beach municipal building in 2019 was motivated by perceived workplace grievances that he fixated on for years, according to findings released by the FBI on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

NORFOLK, Va. – A city engineer who fatally shot 12 people in a Virginia Beach municipal building in 2019 “was motivated by perceived workplace grievances” that “he fixated on for years,” according to findings released by the FBI on Wednesday.

The investigation, conducted by the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, found that DeWayne Craddock “struggled with how he perceived his own work performance and how others at work viewed him.”

“The shooter’s inflated sense of self-importance contributed to this conflict and led him to believe he was unjustly and repeatedly criticized and slighted,” the FBI said in a news release. “Violence was viewed by the shooter as a way to reconcile this conflict and restore his perverted view of justice.”

But the FBI cautioned that no person or group was in a position to “see the confluence of behaviors that may have forewarned the attack” because Craddock had purposely isolated himself and disengaged from his relationships.

The agency also said that Craddock suffered from significant mental health stressors, although they “alone cannot explain the Virginia Beach attack.”

“It is important to note that only the shooter knew the real reason why he committed this horrific act of violence; however, at this time, the FBI is confident, based on evidence collected, that the above assessment is accurate,” the FBI stated.

The FBI's findings appear to go a step further than two previous investigations into the mass shooting in the coastal city of nearly half a million people.

Virginia Beach police said in March that they could not determine a motive.