At least twelve people were shot dead and several others injured when a longtime municipal employee in Virginia Beach, US opened fire indiscriminately at co-workers in a public works building.
However, the attacker was killed in a gunfight with police.
Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said, "This is the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach. People involved friends, co-workers, neighbors, colleagues."
Attacker opened fire on several floors of building: Police Chief
The attack at the municipal building took place at around 4 pm (local time) on Friday, towards the end of the workday.
Meanwhile, Police Chief James Cervera said that six people were wounded, including a police officer who was saved by his protective ballistic vest.
Cervera added the gunman, who wasn't immediately identified, fired indiscriminately on several floors of the building.
Condition of the surviving victims immediately not known
While five of the injured persons were reportedly rushed to the Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, the other one was taken to Sentara Price Anne Hospital. The condition of these surviving victims is not yet known.
This day will not define Virginia Beach: City Councilman
Virginia Beach City Councilman Aaron Rouse tweeted, "Pray for our City!" He added, "This day will not define Virginia Beach ... We will come together."
Meanwhile, Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam said it was a "tragic day for Virginia Beach and our entire Commonwealth." He added, "My heart breaks for the victims of this devastating shooting, their families, and all who loved them."
Were trying to keep as quiet as possible: Municipal employee
Megan Banton, who works at the public works building, said she was on the second floor when her supervisor, after hearing a loud noise, asked people to go into her office.
She said the sound of gunshots had continued while people barricaded the office door with a desk.
Banton said, "We kept hearing gunfire," adding, "We were trying to keep as quiet as possible."
Too soon to provide details of suspected attacker: Cervera
Meanwhile, Cervera said it was "too soon" to provide the details of the suspected attacker and how the attack unfolded.
"There is no way to describe an incident such as this," the Police Chief said.
"The suspect was immediately confronted. ...Our citizens can rest easy tonight. We do not have someone out in the community to do more harm," he added.