Virginia Beach official resigns after criticism over response to shooting

A city official in Virginia Beach, Va., is resigning after facing criticism over his response to a mass shooting earlier this year, according to the Associated Press.

Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen announced his resignation Wednesday, the city said in a statement sent to The Hill confirming the earlier AP report. He helped lead the city’s response to a mass shooting in May when a city employee killed a dozen people at the city’s municipal center. 

The resignation comes as families of some of the victims have criticized Hansen’s response after the shooting, alleging that he has not been respectful in the wake of the attack or responded to their requests for more information, according to AP. 


In his resignation letter Hansen urged city employees to work cooperatively without “pointing fingers” after the attack. 

“Our most recent tragedy will take all our energy, strength and patience so we can walk the long path of recovery ahead,” Hansen told city employees. 

The lawyer for the husband of a victim in the shooting said his client saw Hansen's departure as "very good news," according to AP.

“A lot of performance problems led to this day. It’s more than just one event. If he’d consistently communicated and acted in a gracious manner, he’d probably still be city manager,” said Kevin Martingayle, an attorney who represents Jason Nixon, whose wife was killed in the shooting.

However, both Virginia Beach Mayor Robert "Bobby" Dyer and Vice Mayor James Wood praised Hansen's performance, according to the city's statement.

“Dave deserves tremendous credit for all he has accomplished during his tenure with the city,” Mayor Robert "Bobby" Dyer said in the statement.

Meanwhile, Wood noted, “Dave has done a phenomenal job managing the city and his wealth of knowledge and experience will be missed.”