by Kerry Dougherty
Most of the country is focused on the chaos taking place in Congress.
That’s nothing compared to the slice of crazy unfolding in Virginia Beach.
As best we can stitch together from Facebook and stories in The Virginian-Pilot, a member of the House of Delegates has been sitting on what could be a key piece of evidence in the mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center in May of 2019.
Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler, a Democrat, claims to have a laptop belonging to Dewayne Craddock , the city employee who murdered 12 people in a gruesome bloodbath in Building 2 on May 31, 2019 before he was finally killed by police.
According to a Facebook post Wednesday, Convirs-Fowler no longer has possession of the mysterious laptop, but has entrusted it to her lawyer.
The delegate refused to turn the computer over to Virginia Beach police who wanted to authenticate it as belonging to Craddock and examine it to see what’s on it.
According to The Pilot, Convirs-Fowler is also refusing to return the laptop to the woman who allegedly possessed it after the shootings. Convirs-Fowler was given the laptop by a third party.
A lengthy email from that third party — Beth Mann — was part of a press release from the delegate this week.
An earlier report by law enforcement claimed that no laptop was found in Craddock’s residence, although his co-workers reportedly told police that he frequently carried one.
Troubling questions have been raised about the motive of the killer and whether there were warning signs that he was about to snap and engage in workplace violence. Others — including Convirs-Fowler — have questioned the thoroughness of the investigation.
In a letter last month, Attorney General Jason Miyares blasted the erratic 21-member Beach Mass Shooting Commission that is investigating the investigation. About half of the panel has resigned.
Miyares wrote that “diligent” commission members have met resistance from others on the panel as well as the city itself when seeking information.
Lingering and deeply disturbing questions about the shooting and the subsequent investigation render the sudden appearance of this laptop critically important. It could hold clues to the mindset of the killer and whether he had a list of targets.
Instead of playing tug-of-war with what could be a vital piece of evidence, the laptop should go to law enforcement — perhaps to Miyares — immediately.
Relatives of the victims and survivors of the slaughter have waited long enough.
This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.