Legislation naming a Virginia Beach post office after Ryan ‘Keith’ Cox heads to the president

The United States Senate on Tuesday passed a companion bill mirroring one passed by the House to name a Virginia Beach post office after Ryan “Keith” Cox.

Cox was one of 12 people killed in the shooting. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-2nd, introduced the House version of the bill in June.

The full Virginia congressional delegation supported legislation to honor Cox’s memory by naming the post office located at 2509 George Mason Drive, not far from where the tragedy occurred. U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner expedited consideration in the Senate, according to a news release from Luria’s office.

“I hope the President quickly signs this bill into law so we can properly remember a true hero. This is our chance to tell Keith’s story – to showcase his bravery to our community, our Commonwealth, and our nation,” Luria said.

The legislation now heads to the president’s desk.

After the tragedy on May 31, it was reported Cox saved a number of people that day when he helped his co-workers find safety and then stood watch for the gunman and said “I’ve got to see if anybody needs help.”

Cox, an account clerk who lived in Virginia Beach, had a “golden voice” & sang in his church choir.

There are 16 victims who were shot that day –four wounded and 12 who were killed, including Mary Louise Gayle, Tara Welch Gallagher, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Katherine A. Nixon, Joshua O. Hardy and Michelle “Missy” Langer, all of Virginia Beach; Laquita C. Brown and Robert “Bobby” Williams, both of Chesapeake; Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan; and Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk.

The 12th victim, Herbert “Bert” Snelling of Virginia Beach, was a contractor who was in the building to seek a permit.

RELATED STORY: Ryan ‘Keith’ Cox talked about ‘unfair treatment’ at work for years

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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.