07:07 GMT28 February 2021
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    Virginia Beach police have identified the gunman responsible for last Friday's shooting at a local government office as 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock. The gunman had worked for the city as a civil engineer for 9 years and resigned hours before he went on a rampage killing 12 people.

    Law enforcement say his motives are still unclear. Speaking at a press conference over the weekend police chief James Cervera said that this would be the only time they’ll say his name and henceforth will refer to the shooter as “the suspect” out of respect for the victims and their families.

    The 31 May mass shooting was the worst case in the US since November 2018, when 12 people were killed at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

    Steven Howard, a former federal agent and weapons expert has told Sputnik about the authorities’ decision not to refer to the shooter by name.

    Sputnik: Virginia Beach police said that they’re going to mention the suspect’s name only once, what is this new trend in your view?

    Steven Howard: In my opinion, it is one of the smartest things they could possibly do, and CNN was smart and would not repeat his name either, and by doing that they’re denying these maniacs what they want — which is infamy, fame, if you prefer the word.

    They want to be remembered and if they find out they’re not being remembered they may stop doing this.

    Sputnik: And what impact does this step have on shooting incidents the future?

    Steven Howard: If they do it enough it may stop them.

    Sputnik: And why are politicians in many countries now refusing to mention the suspect’s name, is it the same reason?

    Steven Howard: The same exact reason, and really it’s the right thing to do. I applaud them. I give them a standing ovation for this.

    Don’t mention their name at all. NBC, ABC, they’ve been blurting his name and showing his picture and that’s what they want, they want to be remembered.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Steven Howard and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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