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VIRGINIA BEACH – All but one of the 12 victims killed Friday in nation’s deadliest shooting of the year worked for the city. 

“We want you to know who they were so you can learn in the weeks and months to come what they meant to all of us, their families, their friends and their coworkers,” City Manager Dave Hansen. “They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.”

Four people were also injured in the melee that broke out Friday afternoon in the popular Virginia resort city. Two were in critical condition; a third was in fair condition, officials said. The fourth was a Virginia Beach Police officer whose life was saved by his bulletproof vest, Virginia Beach police chief Jim Cervera said.

The victims names were released by police Saturday morning:

Ryan Keith Cox

Cox worked at public utilities for 12.5 years. He was the son of Ray Cox, Sr., the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, the Washington Post reports.

Cox’s older brother Ervin posted a tribute on Facebook: “My heart is hurting because my baby brother was murdered today by the shooter in Virginia Beach mass shooting. I won’t hear his beautiful singing voice at church or home anymore. I loved my brother and will truly miss his caring soul. Until we meet again in heaven”

Michelle ‘Missy’ Langer

Langer worked at public utilities for 12 years. She was remembered as “a kind, faithful woman of God” by Twitter user Nicole Newsome, who identified herself as a church family member and a journalist with the Virginian Pilot.

Christopher Kelly Rapp

Rapp worked at public works for 11 months. He loved Scottish music and played the bagpipes in Tidewater Pipes and Drums, a southeastern Virginia pipe band.

The band remembered Rapp in a Saturday Facebook post: “Chris recently moved to Virginia Beach and immediately joined the band after learning how to play the bagpipes from our friends in the Greater Richmond Pipes & Drums. He was quiet but had a passion for the pipes and Scottish culture.”

Laquita C. Brown

Brown worked at public works for 4.5 years

Tara Welch Gallagher

Gallagher worked at public works for 6 years

Mary Louise Gayle

Gayle worked at public works for 24 years

Alexander Mikhail Gusev

Gusev worked at public works for 9 years

Joshua A. Hardy

Hardy worked at public utilities for 4.5 years

Richard H. Nettleton

Nettleton worked at public utilities for 28 years

Katherine A. Nixon

Nixon worked at public utilities for 10 years

Herbert ‘Bert’ Snelling

Snelling worked as a contractor; he was in the building attempting to get a permit.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Williams

Williams worked at public utilities for 41 years


Mayor Bobby Dyer and Governor Ralph Northam express their heartache over the mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

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