Virginia Beach City Council supports independent inquiry into mass shooting
By Keya Vakil
June 27, 2019

The Virginia Beach City Council indicated its support on Tuesday for an independent inquiry into the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach that left 12 people dead. 

This development comes after the families of three victims requested an independent investigation, though the council said any investigation wouldn’t begin immediately and would only start when police felt it wouldn’t compromise their work.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that at least one council member, Sabrina Wooten, pushed for an immediate investigation, saying any delay would be unfair to the victims’ families. But Mayor Bobby Dyer and six council members voiced concerns about such an investigation interfering with the police department’s criminal investigation.

City Councilman Jim Wood, who introduced the topic on Tuesday and asked for a vote on the matter next Tuesday, said he expected the police department to approve an independent investigation by the end of the summer.

Kevin Martingayle, a lawyer representing the family of shooting victim Kate Nixon, told the Pilot that it is unnecessary and unacceptable to give the police the ability to delay an outside investigation and reiterated the families calls for “immediate action and total transparency.”

According to Wood, the Council is leaning towards allowing the city auditor to choose an independent investigator and also serve as the liaison between the investigator, the city and the council.

On the state level, Del. Cheryl Turpin and Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler (both D-Virginia Beach) also support an independent inquiry and sent a letter to the council asking them to move forward with a third party investigator.

For additional details, check out the full story over at the Virginian-Pilot.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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