Virginia Beach victims: One had four decades with the city; another was filing for a permit

Authorities identify 12 victims

By Jason Hanna and Ray Sanchez, CNN

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - One was a man who'd worked with Virginia Beach's public utilities department for 41 years. Another was a contractor who was just in the building to file for a permit.

Officials released the names Saturday of 12 people who were killed in Friday afternoon's shooting at Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

All but one were employees of the city of Virginia Beach, City Manager Dave Hansen said.

A day after the shooting, Brent Werlein, an engineer at the City of Virginia Beach, shared a post about the colleagues he lost.

Werlein said that he would have been there but had to leave to pick up his son from school because his day care was closed that day.

After describing his relationships with some of his colleagues Werlein said, "They will be missed."

Live updates: Virginia Beach mourns mass shooting

The 12 slain were:

Laquita C. Brown

The Chesapeake resident was a right-of-way agent who worked 4½ years for Virginia Beach's public works department.

Tara Welch Gallagher

The Virginia Beach resident was an engineer who worked six years for the city's public works department.

Mary Louise Crustinger Gayle

The 65-year-old Virginia Beach resident was a right-of-way agent who worked 24 years for the city's public works department.

She earned her Bachelors degree and a Masters degree while employed by the city, her family said in a statement. She was slated to be honored for her work by the International Right of Way Association at a ceremony that was to be held two weeks after she died.

A doting Mother and "grammy," she loved snuggling her "grandbabies" and pug and spending time with family and friends. She was the coordinator of her high school class reunions.

She was a devout Roman Catholic who taught catechism classes for many years at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church. She participated in a bunko group and enjoyed craft projects. For more than 30 years, she made gingerbread houses for each household in her extended family every Christmas season.

Alexander Mikhail Gusev

The Virginia Beach resident was a right-of-way agent who worked nine years for the city's public works department.

Katherine A. Nixon

The Virginia Beach resident was an engineer who worked 10 years for the city's public utilities department. Werlein said that Nixon was like a sister to him and was a smart and caring person. He said Nixon was the "supervisor everyone would want, tough on you when you needed it, pushed you as you needed it, discipline you as needed, and also compassionate."

Richard H. Nettleton

The Norfolk resident was an engineer who worked 28 years for Virginia Beach's public utilities department. Nettleton had a lot of institutional knowledge and was always approachable, coworker Werlein said.

Christopher Kelly Rapp

The Powhatan resident was an engineer who had worked 11 months in Virginia Beach's public works department.

Members of Tidewater Pipes & Drums on Saturday remembered him in a 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," the post said. "He was quiet but had a passion for the pipes and Scottish culture."

"Peace be with his wife, Bessie, and their loved ones," the band members added.

Ryan Keith Cox

The Virginia Beach resident was an account clerk who worked 12½ years in the public utilities department.

His brother, Ervin, posted photos and remembered him on Facebook.

"My heart is hurting because my baby brother was murdered today by the shooter in Virginia Beach mass shooting," he wrote.

"I won't hears 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."

Joshua O. Hardy

Hardy lived in Virginia Beach and worked as an engineering technician for 4½ years in the city's public utilities department. Hardy was a prankster, according to Werlein. Werlein said Hardy was always fun to be around and he would prank people by wrapping their office in wrapping paper or immersing a keyboard in Jello.

Michelle 'Missy' Langer

The Virginia Beach resident was an administrative assistant who worked 12 years in the public utilities department. Colleague Werlein described Langer as a "fun loving person" who he could always approach and talk with.

Robert 'Bobby' Williams

The Chesapeake resident was a special projects coordinator who worked 41 years in Virginia Beach's public utilities department. Werlein described Williams as having a lot of "institutional knowledge." He said Williams was hoping to retire this year so he could be with his family.

Herbert 'Bert' Snelling

The Virginia Beach resident was a contractor who was trying to fill a permit at the time of the shooting.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer told CNN that Snelling was a friend of his. He said he was devastated to learn on social media around midnight about his death.

"He started off as a carpenter that did work at (my) house, and then he became a friend. We socialized," Dyer said.

"He was just such a great guy. He was a consummate professional. He did great work. ... This really hits home with me."

They had met five years. A home repair job turned into happy hours and friendship. Their wives got together.

"It's just such a sense of loss and this didn't have to happen," he said.

Hansen told reporters Saturday that he'd worked with most of the slain, and that he'd served in the US military with Nettleton in Germany.

"They leave a void that we will never be able to fill," the city manager said.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated a victim's name. It is Joshua O. Hardy.

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