BREAKING: Virginia Beach shooting: 12 killed after city worker opens fire at colleagues

Shocking news has emerged since last night that at least 12 people have been killed and several injured in a mass shooting at a government building in the US state of Virginia.

Described by officials as a disgruntled city employee in Virginia Beach, the suspect fired indiscriminately in a municipal building.

The gunman was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police. His identity is yet to be released.

It was reported that an officer was wounded when a bullet struck his vest.

The attack began shortly after 16:00 (20:00 GMT), at Virginia Beach Municipal Center, in an area which is home to a number of city government buildings.

The area was put on lockdown.

Megan Banton, an administrative assistant in the building, told local television news station:

“We just heard people yelling and screaming at people to get down”

One of the victims was shot outside in a car, and the rest were found over three floors of the government building.

Four officers entered the building and located the gunman inside and “immediately engaged”

The police chief described the scene as a “war zone”. The attacker was then shot dead.

Mr Cervera said:

“I want you to know that during this gun battle, basically the officers stopped this individual from committing more carnage in that building,”

Police recovered a rifle and a handgun, thought to have been used by the suspect, at the scene.

The tragedy has taken place ahead of the annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Sunday.

The identities of the 12 victims and the suspect have not yet been released.

Mr Cervera said:

“We’re going to mention his name once and then he will forever be referred to as ‘the suspect’, because our focus now is the dignity and respect to the victims in this case and to their families,”

The injured officer’s life was saved by his bulletproof vest.

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