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Police Chief: Virginia Beach shooter was longtime public utilities employee

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- At least 12 people were killed after a gunman opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, police Chief James Cervera said in a Friday evening update.

The shooter opened fire around 4 p.m. inside Building 2 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center in the 2400 block of Courthouse Drive.

“He immediately began to indiscriminately fire upon the victims," Cervera said.

Cervera said officers quickly responded to the scene, which is not far from police headquarters.

Those officers secured as many victims as they could, Cervera said.

“The suspect did shoot a police officer. Officers returned fire,” the chief said.

The shooter, who police said was a public utilities worker, is also is dead.

Another four people were hospitalized after the shooting, hospital officials tweeted Friday.

Dale Gauding of Sentara confirmed that three patients are at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. Two are in critical condition, while the other is in fair condition.

Sentara Virginia Beach General first received five patients Friday afternoon, but two of them died.

Gaulding said one patient is at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in critical condition. This patient first went to Sentara Princess Anne near the city complex but was later picked up by a Sentara Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance and was flown to the regional Level I trauma center at Sentara Norfolk.

Another patient took themselves to Sentara Princess Anne and was released by the emergency department Friday evening.

The wounded included a police officer whose ballistic vest stopped a bullet, the police chief said.

The shooting took place in Building 2 of the municipal center, according to police.

“We are beginning the forensic process of this incident.”

The police chief cautioned to remember the size and “intensity of the scene.”

“We’re a little more than two hours into this event. We use the word event. That’s a cop term,” Cervera said. “This devastating event that happened, which none of us want to be here talking about. This devastating incident, which is going to change the lives of a number of families from our city.”

The FBI is also responding to the incident to provide assistance to local authorities, an FBI spokeswoman told CNN.

This is a developing story. Refresh WTVR.com and watch CBS 6 News for updates. 

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