Virginia Beach Strong: Remembering Alexander Mikhail Gusev

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - 35-year-old Alexander Mikhail Gusev emigrated to the United States from Belarus in 2003 for a better chance at life.

Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Virginia Beach victim

Aspirations, dreams and goals for more opportunity - shattered in a split second on Friday, May 31.

"It was difficult. I saw his face on the news Sunday; could not believe it," said Bryan James, a friend Gusev met at Old Dominion University.

Gusev graduated from Tidewater Community College with an Associate of Science in Engineering in May 2014. In 2016, he graduated from ODU with an engineering degree. James and Gusev met in a public speaking course.

"He just had a way of bringing joy to your life. He was so good-natured, always went above and beyond for his friends and just people in general," explained James.

The Right of Way agent for the city who had a love for soccer had worked for the public works department for nine years.

"He was working hard to improve his life. We both used to talk about wanting to start a family and finding the right woman, settling down and having kids," said James.

James said he last spoke to Gusev in 2016 and hoped to catch up with him soon -  a phone call that unfortunately was never made.

"I thought about calling him a couple weeks ago, and something came up like it always does. I got busy and I didn't," James told News 3.

Gusev's coworker Drew Lankford said his twin brother, also named Alex, and his mother just came over to America and are unable to process the devastating news.

"They are brokenhearted. They are struggling; they just don't understand," said Lankford.

TCC said Gusev is survived by his twin brother Alexi and his mother, both of whom live in Virginia Beach, along with his father, who is in Belarus.

If you'd like to give a donation to help with costs, click here.

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.

Faces of the Virginia Beach mass shooting

To share your memories of Alexander Mikhail Gusev, email us at

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.