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Southfield to examine safety protocols after Virginia Beach shooting

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published June 19, 2019

File photo

SOUTHFIELD — After a Virginia Beach city employee took the lives of 12 people at a municipal building last month, the city of Southfield is examining its own safety procedures.

According to reports, at around 4 p.m. May 31, Virginia Beach public works employee DeWayne Craddock opened fire at a municipal building in the Princess Anne area of the city.

In total, Craddock killed 12 people and injured four before taking his own life in a standoff with police, police said.

The shooting began outside Building 2, which is a three-story brick structure where around 400 municipal employees work.

There, the gunman shot his first victim before heading into the building and moving between the floors, firing at the city workers.

At press time, it remained unclear what Craddock’s motive in the shooting was, but city officials announced June 3 that he had resigned from his job prior to the shooting.

Southfield City Administrator Fred Zorn addressed the shooting at the June 3 City Council meeting.

“I wanted to comment on the Virginia Beach shooting and what’s happening to civility in our society. Things are getting very fragile,” Zorn said. “I want the council and the public to know that we had employee assistance on board today. They were available for any of our employees who needed to talk about what’s happened.”

Zorn added that over the last few months, city officials have been reviewing their emergency procedures, and they intend to perform an evaluation.

“Within the budget process … we have set aside money for a facilities evaluation,” he said. “That will include addressing some of these safety precautions.”

Acting Police Chief Nick Loussia said the city follows the standard safety guidelines outlined by government agencies.

“The training that we provide to city of Southfield employees and to the community is similar to what most federal, state and local agencies provide,” he said in an email.

Loussia referenced a guide from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on how to be prepared for an active shooter situation.

FEMA suggests that people visiting a new place identify the exits and get familiar with that building’s particular active shooter drill.

“Map out safe places to hide,” the FEMA guide reads. “In rooms without windows, behind solid doors with locks, under desks or behind heavy furniture such as large filing cabinets.”

If an attack should occur, FEMA suggests first attempting to run to safety. If that is not successful, hide in one of the aforementioned places. The last resort is to fight the attacker with makeshift weapons such as chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors and books.

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