American society needs to examine why mass shootings and other violent incidents occur, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has said following the murder of 12 people in Virginia.
“This shooting reminds us yet again that something is fundamentally broken in our society and culture when ordinary workplaces can become scenes of violence and contempt for human life,” Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, said in a statement, calling on society to look at ways to “root out the causes of such evil”.
“Action is needed to attempt to reduce the frequency of these abhorrent acts through legislation and training,” the bishop said, continuing: “I call on Catholics around the country to pray for the dead and injured as well as for healing in the community.”
Authorities at Virginia Beach said that a 15-year employee of the city’s Department of Public Works entered a building in a municipal complex shortly after 4pm on May 31 and began shooting people. Twelve people died and six were injured in the mayhem, they said, with all but one of those who died being city employees.
Police Chief James Cervera would not discuss a motive for the shooting, but said the shooter, DeWayne Craddock, had been employed by the city as an engineer, working as a project manager and contact for utility projects. According to Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen, Craddock had resigned hours ahead of the shooting, citing “personal reasons”.