Mount Trashmore Memorial Walk for victims of mass shooting draws nearly 1K people

VIRGINIA BEACH — Nearly 1,000 people gathered Saturday morning at Mount Trashmore to pay their respects to the 12 people killed and the four injured in the May 31 mass shooting at Building 2 of the city’s Municipal Center.

The crowd, mostly wearing blue and stickers saying “VB Strong,” took turns signing a commemorative poster with the 12 faces and names of the victims before heading out to walk around the park.

“We’ve had a great turnout, we ran out of wristbands. It’s been amazing,” said Reina Gruenloh, a volunteer working the event.

Representatives from the local veterans network, suicide awareness groups and United Way of South Hampton Roads were there to garner support for the community and give people a chance to donate funds for the families affected by the tragedy.

Among the dead were four 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.

Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera identified the shooter, who died in a gunbattle with police, as a longtime city employee who worked as an engineer in the Municipal Complex. The shooter sent an emailed resignation letter to his boss just hours before the shooting.

“We are not the fundraisers, they [the community] are,” said Judi Morgan, director of operations for United Way of South Hampton Roads.

She said they were surprised by how many people have reached out to offer donations, grave plots, flowers and even plane tickets for the families.

As of Saturday, about $2 million has been raised, Morgan said.

Officials said 100 percent of that money will go to the 12 victims’ families as well as the four injured and their families, Morgan said.

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