Resilient. United. #VBstrong

VIRGINIA BEACH — The grieving in this city will remain for a very long time, but residents also took the first steps toward reclaiming the Resort City’s identity. They did so intentionally and visibly in some cases, with prayers and vigils.

On Monday all around the state – and perhaps the country – students wore blue, a sign of solidarity and support to the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at the city’s Municipal Center.

Among the dead from that carnage were four other engineers who worked to maintain streets and protect wetlands and three right-of-way agents who reviewed property lines. Others included an account clerk, a technician, an administrative assistant and a special projects coordinator. In all, they had served the city of Virginia Beach for more than 150 years.

Four people remain hospitalized.

Police Chief Jim Cervera identified the shooter, who died in a gunbattle with police, as DeWayne Craddock 40, a longtime city employee.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.