This post office will be named after May 31 mass shooting victim

(Southside Daily/Courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)
(Southside Daily/Courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)

VIRGINIA BEACH – A post office building here will be named after Ryan “Keith” Cox, one of the 12 who was shot and killed in the Municipal Center mass shooting.

U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-2nd, said Thursday President Donald Trump signed the bill “after swift bipartisan and bicameral passage in the House and Senate last month.”

Luria said according to witness accounts, Cox sacrificed his own life to save colleagues during the shooting. Rejecting coworkers’ calls to take refuge, Cox stood his ground in a hallway and said: “I’ve got to see if anybody else needs help.”

“Virginia Beach and our entire Commonwealth will never forget Keith Cox’s courageous efforts to save his fellow Virginians,” Luria said“The post office building will serve as a permanent reminder of his bravery and sacrifice. It’s an honor to recognize a true community hero.”

Located at 2509 George Mason Drive, the currently unnamed post office will be known as the Ryan Keith Cox Post Office Building. The full Virginia congressional delegation supported the legislation.

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

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.

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John Mangalonzo ( 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.