Police release updated Virginia Beach mass shooting timeline

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – ​The Virginia Beach Police Department reexamined the timeline of events leading up to the May 31 mass shooting after seeing several typographical errors.

On May 31, a gunman killed 12 people and wounded five others in and around the building in which he had worked for over nine years.

On September 24, the Virginia Beach Police Department provided an interim report on the criminal investigation to the Virginia Beach City Council. As part of that report, Deputy Chief Pat Gallagher provided a verbal presentation of the events that indicated the shooter’s movements based on cell phone data, key card access at certain doors, eyewitness testimony and physical evidence.

“We made a typographical error on one time stamp that Gary pointed out to us. We also recently received access to data we didn’t have before, which helped us refine the timeline,” said Police Chief Jim Cervera. “These two factors caused us to reexamine every entry. When detectives did that, they discovered five clerical errors that this updated timeline reflects. While the changes to the timeline are inconsequential to the major actions and outcomes of that day, it is critically important to the overall investigation that we have everything right. Going forward, we will be adding more reviews to verify and cross-check data,” he added.

Faces of the Virginia Beach mass shooting

The final report is expected to take six to nine months to complete, as many elements are outstanding, including the FBI’s results of its forensic evidence recovery, which is essential to the department’s ability to finalize its investigation.

“The rest of the updates are typical of any investigative process,” Deputy Chief Gallagher added. “Adjustments are routinely made when new information becomes available and new evidence is presented. In some instances, we have conflicting data, which is the case here, between the suspect’s phone data and the vehicle locator data. As a rule, we give preference to data from a personal item, like a cell phone. The updated timeline reflects the best information we have today. Anyone who believes they have pertinent information and have not yet spoken with detectives is encouraged to contact the Virginia Beach Police Department Detective Bureau at (757) 385-4101.”

Other issues being worked on is developing updated building maps to finalize evidence and documentation of events.

“Building 2 has been renovated and modified over the years and we don’t have floor plans that accurately correspond to the current configuration of the offices and departments as they exist today,” said Facilities Manager Tom Nicholas. “We are working on a process to establish updated floor plans for all locations, it just takes time and resources, which are currently stretched rather thin.”

The updated timeline of the Virginia Beach mass shooting is as follows:

Original Time

Updated Time

Difference

Event Log

Notes

6:58

Suspect leaves his residence

7:16

Suspect arrives at municipal center

7:21

Suspect swiped card for entry 2nd floor Engineering North Hall

7:23

Suspect starts up his work computer and checks email

7:41

Suspect plugs in his IPOD

10:00-10:30

Suspect conducts web searches of: Building 2 maps, ECCS and Municipal Center Building Map

10:30

Suspect sends email to supervisor resigning due to “personal reasons.” Supervisor responds hoping that suspect resolves his personal reasons, asks, to be clear, if his last day will be June 14th. Suspect confirms.

10:46

First-line supervisor responds with the above information to suspect and copied mid-level supervisor

10:52

Suspect swiped card for entry at 2nd floor SW hall of Building 2

11:23

Suspect sends work-related email

11:27

11:33

+6 min

Suspect sends work-related email

Clerical error

11:58

Suspect sends work-related email Suspect swiped card for entry at 2nd floor North Hall

Clerical error

12:14

12:08

-6 min

Suspect swiped card for entry at 2nd floor SW Hall

Clerical error

1:00

Sends work-related email

Clerical error

1:13

1:00

+/-12 min

Suspect swiped card for entry at 2nd floor hall

Clerical error

1:22

1:04

+/-18 min

Suspect and 2 co-workers leave Building 2 drive together in one vehicle

Two competing data sources: suspect’s phone vs. vehicle GPS

1:56-3:11

1:06:38 – 3:06:11

+/-10 min

Suspect and 2 co-workers visit three project sites as part of routine “ride-around” inspection process

Two competing data sources: suspect’s phone vs. vehicle GPS

3:24

3:06:11

+/-18 min

All three arrive back to Building 2 (2nd floor hall)

Two competing data sources: suspect’s phone vs. vehicle GPS

3:55

Suspect sends work-related email

4:00
(approx.)

4:02 approx.)

Approx. 4:00-4:03:30

2 deceased outside

Adjusted based on newly retrieved evidence

Approx. 4:03:41

Suspect walks into Building 2

Adjusted based on newly retrieved evidence

Approx. 4:03:41- 4:03:51

+/-1:51 min

1 decease in stairwell – Suspect walks up stairs towards 3rd floor

Adjusted based on newly retrieved evidence

4:04:18
(approx.)

Suspect enters third floor (5 deceased, 2 injured)

Adjusted based on newly retrieved evidence

4:05:56

(Key Card)

Suspect enters 2nd floor/east side (2 deceased)

4:06

4:06:32

+0:32 sec

First 911 call is received

Not error, providing exact time

4:08:13

(Key Card)

Suspect enters west side of 2nd floor (1 deceased)

4:10 (approx.)

Suspect walks to 3rd floor (1 injured)

4:10:19

VBPD officers and detectives enter building

4:11

4:11:26

+0:26 sec

Suspect walks back to the 2nd floor – citizen pulls fire alarm

Not error, providing exact time

4:12:40

(Key Card)

Suspect enters west side of 2nd floor

4:15:07

(Key Card)

Suspect walks into east side of 2nd floor (1 deceased, 1 injured)

4:16

Officer shoots suspect

4:19

“Officer down” radio broadcast

4:26

SWAT on scene

4:44

Suspect in custody, first aid rendered

5:32

Suspect pronounced deceased at Virginia Beach General Hospital

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

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