Virginia Beach, VA

Why flags in Virginia fly half-staff on May 31 & what else is being done

Watchful Eye
Photo byVirginia Beach Police Department

Governor Glenn Youngkin ordered flags to fly half-staff on May 31, 2023 in memory and respect of the victims of the shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

It has been four years since the incident in Building 2 at the Municipal Center left 12 people dead and four seriously injured. The gunman was a city employee who was killed by police at the scene.

Justin Faifax, the attorney for the families of the victims, told 10 On Your Side that he and the families don’t believe they have gotten the whole truth about what happened on May 31, 2019.

“They have not gotten all the answers they deserve about what happened that day,” Fairfax said.
Photo byVirginia Beach Govt.

In addition to the flag order, which applies to all state and local buildings and grounds in the Commonwealth of Virginia from sunrise to sunset, there are several other remembrance activities planned.

At 4:06 p.m., the City of Virginia is calling for a moment of silence. That time represents the time of the first 911 call associated with the incident.

A remembrance ceremony will be held in front of City Hall at 2401 Courthouse Drive. The vigil will begin at 8 p.m. and candles will be distributed. There will be a reading of the names, musical performance by Virginia Beach City Public Schools, and speakers who represent the first responder community.

There will also be 12 blue lights shining at Building 2 throughout the night to honor the victims.

In April, the Virginia Beach City Council approved a memorial site for this mass shooting and allocated $1.2 million for its design. It’s slated to be built on 1.3 acres of city land at the corner of Princess Anne Road and Nimmo Parkway.


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