June 11, 2019

Warner & Kaine Introduce Resolution Honoring Victims Of Virginia Beach Shooting

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine introduced a resolution honoring the 12 victims of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach, as well as the brave first responders, city officials, and the entire Virginia Beach community.

“Compassion and strength are the qualities the community of Virginia Beach has demonstrated since the tragic event that took 12 innocent lives,” said Warner. “When Virginia Beach mourns, so does the rest of the Commonwealth. It’s for this reason that we recognize the public servants, first responders, and community members that will forever be marked by this tragic event.”

“As we mourn the twelve beautiful lives lost in the horrific shooting in Virginia Beach, we want the country to know who these dedicated public servants, friends, and family members were,” Kaine said. “This resolution honors them and recognizes the heroic actions of those who risked their lives to save others. No community should go through this pain.”

U.S. Representative Elaine Luria (VA-02) introduced a companion resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives with support from the entire bipartisan Virginia delegation.

The text of the resolution is here and below:

Whereas, on Friday, May 31, 2019, 12 people were killed in a mass shooting at the Municipal Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia;

Whereas 11 of the 12 victims were employees of the city of Virginia Beach with more than 150 years of combined service to the city, and the remaining victim was a contractor who had come to the Municipal Center for business;

Whereas Laquita C. Brown, a 4-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Works who was known for her love of travel with friends and her ability to light up a room with her presence, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Ryan Keith Cox, a 12-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities who was known for his kindness and beautiful singing voice, and who ran into danger looking for more people to save after ensuring his coworkers were sheltered in a barricaded room, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Tara Welch Gallagher, a 6-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Works who worked as an engineer to provide clean drinking water for her community, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Mary Louise Gayle, a 24-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Works who was known as a cheerful coworker and devoted mother and grandmother, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Alexander Mikhail Gusev, a 9-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Works who emigrated from Belarus to Virginia Beach to find a better life and who was known as a generous and devoted coworker, friend, brother, and uncle, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Joshua O. Hardy, a 4-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities who was known for his kindhearted nature and love for his family and faith, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Michelle “Missy” Langer, a 12-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities who was known for her beaming smile and passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and who had plans to retire soon, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Richard H. Nettleton, a 28-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities who was a selfless leader in regional utility system planning and a veteran of the 130th Engineer Brigade of the Army, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Katherine A. Nixon, a 10-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities who was known for her intellect and who was a loving wife and mother of 3 children, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Christopher Kelly Rapp, an 11-month employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Works who was known for his kindness, his passion for playing the bagpipes, and his devotion to his wife, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Herbert “Bert” Snelling, a contractor who had come to the Municipal Center to get a permit and who was celebrating his 38th wedding anniversary, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas Robert “Bobby” Williams, a 41-year employee of the city of Virginia Beach Department of Public Utilities, who was awarded with 8 service awards in recognition of his lifetime of devoted work and who was planning on retiring later in the year to spend more time with his family, was murdered in the shooting;

Whereas the actions of those city employees who alerted their coworkers to danger and pulled them into shelter saved an unknowable number of lives;

Whereas police officers responded within minutes of the first reports of shooting, heroically risking their lives by running into the line of fire;

Whereas 1 police officer was shot while confronting the gunman and survived because he was wearing a bulletproof vest;

Whereas those who were present at, or responded to, the scene of the shooting encountered a “war zone” of horrific violence that will be forever seared into their memories;

Whereas mental health providers, counselors, and faith leaders have tended to the invisible wounds of the shooting, and will continue to do so for decades to come;

Whereas Virginia Beach Chief of Police James Cervera, Mayor Bobby Dyer, and City Manager David Hansen have led their community through its darkest hour with courage, dignity, professionalism, and compassion; and

Whereas, within hours of the shooting, the residents of Virginia Beach had come together in an outpouring of support for those affected, showing the resiliency of love in the face of evil: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) joins the Commonwealth of Virginia in mourning the deaths and celebrating the lives of the 12 victims killed in the shooting at the Municipal Center in Virginia Beach on May 31, 2019;

(2) applauds the heroism, dedication, and compassion of the police officers, first responders, and emergency medical personnel who responded to the shooting and tended to the wounded, in some cases risking their own lives while saving others;

(3) recognizes the strength of the Virginia Beach community in coming together to show that this tragedy will not define them; and

(4) reaffirms its responsibility to find ways to prevent more individuals in the United States from dying in acts of violence.

 

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