By BEN FINLEY Associated Press
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — In the three-plus years since a city engineer killed 12 people at a Virginia Beach municipal building, investigators say they never recovered a personal computer that belonged to him and could possibly shed light on his motives.
But this week, a state lawmaker said in a statement that she was given a laptop found recently at the home of DeWayne Craddock, whom police killed during the 2019 rampage, as his condo was prepared for sale.
Virginia Beach police said in a statement Tuesday that they asked Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler to turn over the computer so they can “determine the device’s authenticity and relevance” to the killings.
The potential existence of such a laptop adds yet another wrinkle to the mass shooting case, which is far from settled for at least some of the victims’ families.
Jason Nixon, whose wife, Kate Nixon, was killed, has demanded accountability for what he and others allege was a failure by Craddock’s supervisors to recognize warning signs in a toxic workplace. Nixon told The Associated Press in 2021 that the shooter was having trouble at work and lost out on a promotion.
Debbie Borato, sister of victim Missy Langer, told the AP in 2020 that Langer was harassed and bullied and there was an office culture “that pushed that man over the edge.”
The FBI said last year that the shooting “was motivated by perceived workplace grievances.” But the agency also cautioned that no person or group was in a position to “see the confluence of behaviors that may have forewarned the attack.”
Virginia Beach police have said that they could not determine a motive, with the city’s final investigative report concluding in 2021 that “we may never know why he committed this heinous act.”
Convirs-Fowler released an email Monday that she received from Beth Mann, who had made the state lawmaker aware of the laptop. Mann said she learned of its existence while helping Borato prepare Craddock’s condo for sale.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported that Borato obtained Craddock’s condo after winning a $2 million judgment against his estate.
Convirs-Fowler, a Democrat, raised questions Monday about “who searched the shooter’s residence” and said the “public and the families deserve a proper investigation.”
Virginia Beach police said Tuesday that they and the FBI never recovered a personal laptop.
“The search yielded numerous pieces of evidence, all of which were documented and collected, to include various weapons, ammunition, documents, tablets, thumb drives, cameras, SD cards, and two cell phones. No laptop was recovered,” the police department said in a statement.