Witnesses hid in offices and under their desks during the Virginia Beach shooting

A witness describes the scene in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where a shooting has left at least 11 people dead, according to police.

Posted: Jun 1, 2019 10:20 AM
Updated: Jun 1, 2019 10:20 AM

Megan Banton scrambled to call 911 when she realized the loud bangs at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia, were not a drill. Within seconds, all she could hear was yelling, screaming and muffled gunshots.

"I have an 11-month-old baby at home, and all I could think about was him and trying to make it home to him," Banton, an employee at the city's public utilities office told CNN affiliate WTKR.

Banton was in the second floor of the three-story brick building when police said a city worker opened fire in Building 2 of the city's Municipal Center on Friday, killing at least 12 people.

She and about 20 of her colleagues quickly pushed several desks against the doors in their office before rushing to hide in their bosses' office.

They hunkered down, hugging and holding each other, as the gunshots continued.

"I was trying to listen to what happen and listen to 911 (operator), and we just hoped it would be over soon," she said.

"It felt like hours," Banton added.

The shooting began as many of the up to 400 city workers in the building were still in the building and some residents tried to pay bills before the end of the day.

Zand Bakhtiari's boss had just left to go home when Bakhtiari heard someone screaming in the parking lot. Shortly, his boss called, saying there was a gunman in the building.

"I mainly texted my loved ones, and a couple of minutes after that I just heard rapid gunfire," Bakhtiari said.

He said police officers took him to another building and he didn't see the shooter.

Some inside, like Edward Weeden, were initially unaware of what was happening.

"There was a lady on the stairs, unconscious, blood on her face, blood on the stairwell," Weeden told CNN affiliate WAVY. "We didn't know what happened."

He fled when a colleague ran downstairs and urged him to leave the building because someone had been shot.

"At that point, we all left," he added.

As police tried to stop the gunman, employees and residents hid under desks in public works and utilities offices or ran away to nearby buildings.

Alyssa Andrews was in her car with her 1-year-old grandson when she spotted a man with a bloodied shirt and shorts outside the building. The man's identity and his condition were not immediately known.

"It was just terrifying, just unbelievable," Andrews said.

Police had blocked the streets outside the municipal building and she and her grand stayed in their car until they were taken to another building to take shelter.

"I couldn't believe it was happening. I was so afraid because they were circling the building. And I just — I didn't know what to do," she said.

Virginia Beach Vice Mayor James Wood said the shooting is "without a doubt the most horrific thing that our city has experienced."

"The people that were there, the victims are people we've worked with, people we know. They're our friends. It's just really truly horrible," he added.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67649

Reported Deaths: 1912
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5613118
DeSoto365831
Harrison252036
Madison242266
Rankin228334
Jackson227642
Jones189958
Forrest180656
Washington166341
Lee146241
Lauderdale141292
Neshoba128692
Lamar122014
Oktibbeha112239
Bolivar111334
Warren109333
Lowndes107737
Panola105913
Sunflower103925
Scott100320
Lafayette97316
Copiah95428
Pike93636
Leflore93363
Holmes89248
Grenada84721
Yazoo83112
Pontotoc8278
Lincoln81741
Monroe79655
Simpson79630
Leake78825
Wayne76721
Coahoma76013
Tate73429
Marshall6959
Marion67720
Union63616
Adams62325
Winston62016
Covington61213
George5815
Pearl River55039
Newton54211
Tallahatchie53110
Attala52225
Walthall50220
Chickasaw46219
Noxubee45711
Alcorn4285
Calhoun4189
Tishomingo4175
Prentiss41210
Claiborne40713
Smith40513
Clay39614
Hancock39014
Jasper3869
Tippah36613
Itawamba35910
Tunica3377
Clarke32726
Montgomery3265
Lawrence3238
Yalobusha31510
Humphreys29311
Quitman2691
Carroll26111
Greene25012
Perry2367
Webster23412
Kemper23314
Amite2326
Jefferson Davis2316
Wilkinson21213
Stone1995
Sharkey1975
Jefferson1967
Benton1441
Choctaw1344
Franklin1272
Issaquena261
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99390

Reported Deaths: 1733
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13109243
Mobile9947207
Montgomery6835148
Madison537834
Tuscaloosa421373
Unassigned359961
Baldwin354425
Shelby328335
Marshall316736
Lee267845
Morgan239318
Etowah212131
DeKalb181913
Calhoun178414
Elmore172338
Walker152664
Houston139812
Russell13682
St. Clair133817
Limestone133313
Dallas132323
Franklin127420
Cullman122512
Colbert118113
Autauga116921
Lauderdale116719
Escambia108217
Talladega102614
Jackson9894
Tallapoosa85579
Chambers84138
Dale83424
Blount8004
Chilton7926
Butler76436
Coffee7616
Covington73520
Pike7097
Clarke6629
Barbour5755
Marion57424
Lowndes57224
Marengo55215
Hale47626
Bullock46411
Winston45311
Perry4424
Bibb4385
Wilcox42910
Monroe4214
Randolph40110
Pickens4009
Conecuh39310
Washington39112
Sumter36018
Lawrence3491
Macon33514
Crenshaw3185
Choctaw28312
Cherokee2737
Henry2633
Geneva2611
Clay2585
Greene25111
Lamar2222
Fayette2075
Cleburne1271
Coosa1012
Out of AL00
Tupelo
85° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 91°
Columbus
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 83°
Oxford
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 78°
Starkville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 82°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather