Washington: A municipal employee sprayed gunfire “indiscriminately” in a government building complex on Friday in the US state of Virginia, police said, killing 12 people and wounding four in the latest mass shooting to rock the country.
The shooter was also killed after an extended gun battle with responding officers, in a scene that “best could be described as a war zone,” Virginia Beach police chief James Cervera told a news conference.
The shooting happened just after 4:00 pm (2000 GMT), when the gunman entered one of the buildings at the Virginia Beach municipal complex and “immediately began to indiscriminately fire on all of the victims,” Cervera said.
One victim was killed outside in his vehicle, while the others were found on all three floors of the building.
Police upgraded the casualty toll to 12 dead and at least four wounded Friday night, after earlier reporting 11 dead and six wounded.
The shooter was armed with a .45-caliber handgun fitted with a sound suppressor, and he reloaded multiple times with extended magazines, Cervera said.
The four responding police officers “stopped this individual from committing more carnage in that building,” he added.
Police unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the suspect after he was shot, Cervera said.
Authorities did not release the shooter´s name or speculate on his motives, aside from saying that he was a longtime employee of the public utilities department.
The wounded included a police officer, who was saved by his bulletproof vest. All were undergoing surgery Friday night.